By Alex Stevens

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has handed a lifeline to the club’s loan players as he insisted they will be given a fresh start this summer.

Four Ibrox players are currently loaned out to other Scottish clubs on deals that run until the end of the season.

Forward Ryan Hardie and central midfielder Jordan Thompson are at Raith Rovers, defender Ross McCrorie is at Dumbarton and goalkeeper Liam Kelly is at Livingston.

This has prompted speculation that they could leave Rangers on permanent transfers in the summer but Caixinha has revealed he will give Hardie, 20, Thompson, 20, McCrorie, 19, and Kelly, 21, the chance to impress him during pre-season training.

The Portugese made the revelation as he gave an update on the fitness of midfielder Matt Crooks, who had also been on loan before injury forced him back to the club’s Aunchenhowie headquarters.

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“The rest of the [four] loan players will come back and start pre-season with us and then I can assess them closer to our group in work and training sessions,” Caixinha said to the official Rangers website.

Meanwhile, Caixinha has confirmed that Crooks will be sidelined for 10 weeks after scans revealed the damage of a knee injury.

Crooks, 23, had been on loan at English League One outfit Scunthorpe, but that spell has been cut short and he is now starting his rehabilitation ahead of next season.

In other Rangers transfer news, one of the club’s outstanding players has revealed a leading Premier League club are keeping close tabs on him ahead of a summer move.

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