By Matt Farr
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has revealed he is hoping to sort out the future of winger Barrie McKay within the next week.
The 22-year-old is a highly-rated prospect for the Scottish club but, with just one year remaining on his current contract, there have been doubts over his long-term future at Ibrox.
Negotiations over a new contract have stalled in recent weeks, which has reportedly alerted Championship outfit Nottingham Forest, who are managed by ex-Rangers chief Mark Warburton, over a potential move.
The Daily Mail claim Warburton is considering a cut-price move for McKay in January, where the winger will have just six months left on his deal, should he not put pen-to-paper on fresh terms.
However, Rangers chief Caixinha has offered hope of a swift resolution to the prolonged contract saga, admitting that he is looking to conclude negotiations with creative spark McKay, and fellow attacker Joe Garner, by the end of this week.
He told Rangers TV, as quoted by the club’s official website: “Football is always about the moment and I believe Barrie McKay is passing through a very good moment, he has scored in the last two matches and so has Joe Garner.
“We want them both to extend that good moment they’re having with the team for the final two matches. They are two players who we can maybe count on from now and count on in the future if they keep doing this on a regular basis.
“The majority of the players already know if they are part of our plans for next season or not and Barrie is also included in that list of players. I will conclude that process during this week.”
Caixinha is currently in the process of assessing his first-team squad ahead of a potential overhaul this summer, and has told a number of senior players there are surplus to requirements at Ibrox.
Experienced central defensive duo Clint Hill and Philippe Senderos have both been told they will not have their contracts renewed at the end of the season, and will be released by the club.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Sam Jamieson is among four youth products that have also been axed by the club, as Caixinha also cleans out the club’s youth ranks.
McKay, however, looks set to avoid the cull and be offered a new deal to stay at the club. He has contributed six goals and 11 assists from 44 appearances this season.
Football Insider verdict
Caixinha would be making the right decision in handing McKay an extended stay at the club, although it should not hide the fact that the squad could do with another winger. McKay has been in fine form during what has been a well below-par season for Rangers, and the Portuguese chief is understandably ready to make wholesale changes this summer. But McKay deserves to be kept on board, as he is one of only a few players that have shown glimpses of real quality. If they were to sell him, they’d only manage a cut-price deal given his current contract situation, but he could be worth a lot more in a couple of years.
In other Rangers transfer news, Caixinha has issued a response to the club’s reported interest in this 26-year-old rival star.