It is fair to say that Rangers have suffered something of a crisis at centre back over the past couple of weeks and the international break will have left Graeme Murty sweating buckets.

With the likes of David Bates and Ross McCrorie out of action, the Gers boss turned to Russell Martin and Bruno Alves at the heart of defence for the 1-0 defeat against Kilmarnock, with Fabio Cardoso the only other natural option at his disposal.

When the Scottish 32-year-old pulled out of the international squad for the current break between club matches, Murty, as well as many of the Ibrox faithful, would have had their hearts in their mouths, for a back two of Alves and Cardoso is a pairing not worth the pain of thinking about.

Thankfully for the Light Blues, Martin seems to be fighting fit if reports are to be believed, and it seems likely he will be thrown back into the starting XI for when the club return to action against Motherwell on the 31st March.

On loan to the Gers from Norwich City until the end of the season, the Canaries man has been open about how desperate he is to secure a permanent move to Ibrox come the end of the season, and admissions of a dream move will have no doubt endeared him to the supporters.

With an extended spell in the first team likely, Martin can consider the coming weeks his audition to secure a deal with the club, and there will be plenty who will be pushing him on to pass the test.

However, Murty and the Rangers transfer team will need to be brutal in making a decision, and if they feel he is not up to the challenge of pushing to catch Celtic in the title hunt, then they cannot hand him a contract, dream move or not.

This is crunch time for the 29-cap star, and a failure to impress will see his aspirations in tatters come the summer.

In other Rangers news, Graeme Murty is being tipped to take charge of an English club after a major development on Wednesday.

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