By support

21st Dec, 2016 | 2:13pm

Warburton on secret mission to land first Rangers January deal - report

By Will Butcher

Mark Warburton has embarked on a secret trip to Spain to hold talks with Rangers target Jota, according to a report.

The Daily Record claims the former Brentford boss flew to Spain during the last seven days to talk face to face with the 25-year-old playmaker.

He is in line to be Rangers manager Warburton’s first January deal.

Jota is currently on loan with La Liga outfit Eibar, but the Spanish side could be set to cut his temporary move to Spain short allowing him to return to parent club Brentford.

Just six appearances for the high-flying Spanish outfit has seen Jota’s career hit a standstill, and is likely to be looking for a move elsewhere come January.

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With his contract set to expire in the summer, the Gers could reunite Jota with ex-Bees boss Warburton in a bargain deal in less than a fortnight.

Rangers have scored just 25 goals in the Scottish Premiership, 22 goals less than Old Firm rivals Celtic who sit 14 points clear at the top of the table.

Warburton will be hoping that the signing of former Celta Vigo and Real Madrid B star Jota could provide the creative spark to help the Gers find the back of the net more often.

During his time at Brentford, Jota had a hand in 14 goals during 42 starts. Scoring 11 goals himself, Jota also turned provider on three occasions and it is that attacking flair that Rangers desperately need.

Football Insider verdict:

With plenty of experience at both Championship and La Liga level, Jota is more than capable of being a success in the Scottish Premiership. His eye for goal and ability to unlock a defence in between the lines is just what the 54-time Scottish champions need, as Warburton looks to increase the goal threat of the Ibrox side. After knowing the Spaniard from his time at Griffin Park, the duo would be able to find an instant connection to bring the best out of Jota. At a potential bargain deal, Jota would be a top signing for Rangers as they look to claw in Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic.

In other Rangers transfer news, Warburton has revealed his plans to deal with Martyn Waghorn.