Rangers transfer boost: Rivals step aside to clear path for Caixinha to sign World Cup ace

By Harry Sykes

Rangers’ path to sign defender Rashid Sumaila has been cleared after Pedro Caixinha’s former club Al-Gharafa insisted they have no interest in taking him on loan again.

Sumaila’s Portuguese representative Pedro Serpa Pinto revealed to the Mail that the Ibrox club have made an initial approach to both the player and his parent club, Kuwait’s Al-Qadisa.

Follow-up talks are in the pipeline for a player that Rangers boss Caixinha managed this season at Qatari-based Al-Gharafa.

Sumaila, 24, is keen on a reunion with Caxinha but his contract with Al-Qadasi has three more years to run and a fee will need to be paid to secure a deal after the club described him as “an important player”.

However, Rangers have been given a boost in their pursuit of the Caixinha favourite after new Al-Gharafa manager Jean Fernandez immediately revealed he has no interest in trying to sign up Sumaila again.

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“We will discuss an alternative to Rashid for next season,” said Fernandez, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. “He is back at his club and won’t be coming back.”

Sumaila has pedigree at the highest level after making his international debut in 2013.

He has been capped six times for the Ghana national team and made the 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup.

He subsequently became a key player for Caixinha during the Rangers manager’s time in charge at Al-Gharafa.

It has been widely reported that Caixinha has assembled a wishlist of 12 players to target for a summer transfer, including two Mexico-based players he has managed before.

The manager has explained that his plan is to mainly recruit players he either knows well or has worked with before.

Rangers are stepping up preparations for next season as they aim to narrow the huge gap on Scottish treble chasers Celtic.

Caixinha’s side have two matches remaining this season and are next in action on Wednesday night when they host Aberdeen at Ibrox.

In other Rangers transfer news, Ally McCoist has hinted that the club will strengthen in this area this summer.

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