By Laura O'Leary

10th Dec, 2017 | 2:47pm

Warburton reveals he wanted to sign Celtic star at Rangers, states why deal was a no-go

Mark Warburton has revealed that he wanted Moussa Dembele at Rangers but the Gers simply couldn’t afford him.

In an interview with the Scottish Sun, the former Light Blues manager revealed that he was aware of the striker’s availability but the club couldn’t afford him, despite his contract expiring.

Celtic picked up Dembele after his contract with Fulham had expired, which saw him cost the Hoops a fraction of his market value.

However, Warburton explains even with the discount, Rangers still couldn’t have signed him.

“The fans seem to forget the fact you might get somebody for compensation, but if he’s on £35-40,000 a week it just smashes your pay structure,” said Warburton.

“We couldn’t afford that kind of outlay anyway, we were never in the market at that level.

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“If we could have done then, absolutely, I would have moved for Dembele.”

The striker has excelled at the Bhoys winning several trophies as well as scoring 40 goals in 65 appearances across all competitions for the club.

Dembele even scored a hat-trick for Celtic when they met Warburton’s Rangers in 2016 to help his side win 5-1.

The former Gers manager lists the game as his worst moment in charge of the club.

Warburton resigned from his role as manager in February and took charge of Nottingham Forest in March.

Under Warburton’s care Nottingham Forest sit 11th in the table, seven points off the play-off places.

Rangers replaced Warburton with Pedro Caixinha who lasted seven months in the job before being dismissed.

The Light Blues are currently without a permanent manager and are under the temporary care of Graeme Murty.

In other Rangers news, Chris Sutton has had Neil Lennon in stitches with his latest rant about the Gers’ manager search.

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