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Rangers submit improved Lafferty offer AND target another Northern Ireland star: report

Meanwhile, another NI man secures a move away from Ibrox

Rangers have submitted an improved offer for Hearts forward Kyle Lafferty and could even go for another of his Northern Ireland team-mates, according to the latest rumours.

Steven Gerrard is understood to be keen on adding Lafferty to his panel with the two clubs still locked in discussions. Now the Express have reported that Rangers have 'tabled an improved bid', which would be their third for the player this summer.

The Gers have already seen both an initial £200k offer and a follow-up bid including Lee Wallace dismissed by the Hearts hierarchy.

Last week, Hearts manager Craig Levein refused to rule out former Hearts left-back Wallace being used as a makeweight in any transfer, as the club are understood to be holding fast to their £750,000 valuation.

"We're still speaking to Rangers about the situation," Levein said. "I don't want to go into any details. There's no point in me going over any details. Things are ongoing. It's not inevitable."

Lafferty still has one year to run on his Tynecastle contract and is a valuable asset to Craig Levein's side. He netted 19 goals in 36 games last season and has already scored the winner against Celtic this term.

Should Lafferty move back to Ibrox, he could be joined by Northern Irish team-mate Jordan Jones. The Kilmarnock ace was the subject of a £350,000 Rangers bid back in January and the Express' report claims that interest could be reignited after Jamie Murphy was sidelined with a nightmare knee injury sustained during Sunday's win at Killie.

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Jordan Jones

Meanwhile, another Northern Irishman has secured a move away from Rangers. Full-back Lee Hodson on Monday evening finalised a season-long loan deal to fellow Scottish Premiership side St Mirren. Hodson started just five league matches last season and after Gerrard's summer moves for full-backs Jon Flanagan and Borna Barisic, Hodson is off in search of regular football.

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