EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey

Rangers have opened preliminary talks about signing Dundee defender Jack Hendry in the January window, Football Insider sources understand.

The Glasgow giants have set their sights on Hendry, who has impressed for Dundee this season and has emerged as one of the finest young centre-backs in the Scottish Premiership.

A well-placed Rangers source has told Football Insider that the club have made initial contact with third parties about a deal that would take the 22-year-old to Ibrox when the winter window opens next month.

It is understood that Celtic are also keeping close tabs on the commanding player ahead of January after impressing manager Brendan Rodgers.

Celtic are planning to bolster his defensive options due to the injury problems they have been forced to deal with this season with Jozo Simunovic, Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko all having spells on the sidelines this season with midfielder Nir Bitton being used as a emergency central defender on multiple occasions this term.

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However, Rangers are keen to beat their rivals to the punch for former Partick Thistle stopper Hendry.

Director of football Mark Allen is keen to bolster the team’s defensive ranks following a mini-resurgence that has narrowed the gap at the top on Celtic to five points..

Hendry really caught the eye of the club’s hierarchy during Dundee’s recent 2-1 succcess over Rangers at Dens Park and has been a mainstay for his side this season, with 23 appearances in all competitions.

The centre-back is entering the final 18 months of his contract at Dundee after joining from Wigan Athletic in the summer.

In other Rangers transfer news, Mark Allen has green lighted a big-money January swoop for a midfield goal machine who is at a Premier League club.

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