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Ibrox goal put O'Halloran on Rangers radar

By Andy Newport

Mark Warburton confessed he was first alerted to Michael O'Halloran's talents after watching him impress against Rangers earlier this season.

The 25-year-old wideman has signed a four and a half year deal at Ibrox and is in line to make his debut against Raith Rovers tonight after Gers finally persuaded St Johnstone to do business with a third bid on the final day of the transfer window.

It is understood that the offer is worth a potential £500,000 depending on various clauses.

The Light Blues faithful have already seen what O'Halloran is capable of after watching him torment the Scottish Championship leaders in a League Cup tie back in September.

He created Saints' first goal in Govan before racing away from new team-mates Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan to score the third goal in a 3-1 win and Warburton admits it was that display which convinced him he was good enough to star for his promotion chasers.

He said: "We always look to analyse teams before we play them. We played St Johnstone and we felt their threat came from O'Halloran's pace, whether it was central or wide. So from that point we were very aware of him after that match.

"We had him watched numerous times. We did our homework on his character and everything else. Everything that came back suited Rangers."

It appeared Rangers had been foiled when St Johnstone rejected their first two offers earlier this month.

O'Halloran was even left out of the Saints side which took on Hamilton two weeks ago after McDiarmid boss Tommy Wright admitted his player had been unsettled by Gers' interest, but the former Bolton youngster insists he never feared his dream move would not go through.

Glasgow-born O'Halloran - who was on Celtic's books as a teenager - said: "I'm delighted to be here. It's been a stressful few weeks, but I'm buzzing to have got across the line and now I'm looking forward to getting started."

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