Former Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has blasted on-loan midfielder Carlos Pena – and warned the Mexican he could return to Ibrox when his loan with Cruz Azul ends in December.

The 28-year-old midfielder was signed by Caixinha at Ibrox in the summer before rejoining the sacked Gers boss in Mexico shortly after the Light Blues dismissed the Portuguese.

Caixinha insists Pena needs to show him more if he is going to make his loan move permanent – and told the player it was up to him if he wants to remain in Mexico City.

“Carlos Pena owes me more than I owe him,” Caixinha said, as quoted by the Daily Record.

“There has to be a strong relationship between us that has trust and honesty. And he knows that I am not getting as much back from him as I have given to him.

“He has a one-year loan and will stay with us until the end of that because that is part of the agreement.

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“But the next part of the season will decide whether he stays with us after that.

“If not, when the loan ends he will go back to Rangers. It’s up to him.”

Pena made 14 appearances for the Gers, scoring five times, after his summer move from Chivas Guadalajara but failed to hold down a regular place in the Gers first-team.

The Mexican has appeared seven times for Cruz Azul after his temporary switch from the Light Blues.

Football Insider verdict

The last thing anyone at Rangers wants is to see Carlos Pena return to Ibrox at the end of the year. The Mexican was an unmitigated disaster during his time with the Gers and it seems that his return to Mexico isn’t going much better. With Pena on a healthy wage at Ibrox, it is money that could be much better used elsewhere as the Light Blues look to end their seven-year-wait for a major trophy and challenge bitter rivals Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title. After Caixinha continued to defend the player in the face of widespread criticism, that even he has now started to turn against Pena speaks volues about how well his return to Liga MX is going.

In other Rangers news, Celtic are in the running to sign this former Light Blues player in a shock summer transfer.

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