St. Johnstone manager Tommy Wright insists Michael O’Halloran can’t have the “same situation” as when he left Ibrox on loan in August, as the Saints boss tries to keep the striker at McDiarmid Park for the rest of the season.
O’Halloran’s loan with the Saints comes to an end on Monday with the striker due back at the Gers Auchenhowie training base later in the week.
The 26-year-old striker fell out of favour at Ibrox after struggling to reach any consistent level of performance before no-showing an Under-20’s game in March.
Wright has also confirmed that he has been in talks with Saints chairman Steve Brown in an attempt to thrash out a deal to keep the forward for the rest of the season.
“Rangers have indicated they want the player back but Michael can’t have the same situation – I know it is a different manager now – he had previously where he wasn’t in the first-team squad at all,” Wright said, as quoted by BBC Scotland.
“I think if there is a chance Michael can be involved with Rangers’ first-team squad then he will want to go back. But I have told the chairman I want to keep him and hopefully that is the case.”
O’Halloran joined the Gers in January 2016 for £400,000 from St. Johnstone but only scored three times in his 37 appearances for the Ibrox giants.
Since returning to McDiarmid Park on a temporary deal, O’Halloran has netted five in 17 appearances although the striker hasn’t hit the net since September.
O’Halloran is expected be joined by Joe Dodoo and Andy Halliday in returning to Ibrox during the winter break after their loan moves away from the Gers were ended.