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19th Jan, 2017 | 4:58pm

Mark Warburton: Emphatic statement on transfer speculation around 26-year-old striker

By Will Butcher

Mark Warburton has revealed that he has received no bids for Rangers striker Michael O’Halloran, contrary to a report.

The Daily Record claimed on Wednesday that the 26-year-old striker would be allowed to join Scottish Premiership rivals Hearts, should Ian Cathro’s side look to sign the versatile forward.

However, Gers manager Warburton has now told Sky Sports that there had been no bids for O’Halloran and revealed that he was in contention to play against Motherwell on Saturday.

“I’ve read some bizarre stories that Michael is off to Hearts,” Warburton said. “I’m sure Ian Cathro would have called me. He, I’m sure, knew nothing about it and neither do I.

“From our point of view, Michael is one of our players and will be involved on Saturday.”

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O’Halloran has been rumoured with a move away from Ibrox as he struggles to gain regular first-team football with the 54-time Scottish champions.

The likes of Joe Garner, Joe Dodoo, Kenny Miller and Barrie McKay are all considered ahead of O’Halloran in the Gers’ pecking order.

This season, the former St. Johnstone attacker has made just five Scottish Premiership starts and has failed to score as the Gers look to hang on to second place in the league.

Since his move to Ibrox in 2016’s January transfer window, O’Halloran has made a total of 31 Rangers cup and appearances in which has has scored just three goals.

Football Insider verdict:

A loan move away from Ibrox this season will prove beneficial for O’Halloran, who has struggled to maintain any kind of consistent form in his intermittent appearances under former Brentford boss Warburton. However, it seems O’Halloran is to remain at Ibrox as Warburton is keen to keep his back-up striker to provide cover for his first-team stars. The former Bolton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers striker must look to impress his manager on the training ground at Auchenhowie in his search for regular action, and could be given the chance to stake a claim for a first-team spot with a starting berth against Motherwell in the Scottish Cup on Saturday. 

In other Rangers transfer news, this 22-year-old attacker is attracting interest from Premier League sides after a wonderful season in the blue of Rangers.

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