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McCoist is planning ahead for Gers

By Andy Newport

Rangers manager Ally McCoist has revealed he has already spoken to two players as he eyes up signings for next season.

But the Ibrox boss refused to confirm if he was looking to lure Motherwell defender Shaun Hutchinson or midfielder Kenny McLean from St Mirren to the new League One champions after both were linked with moves this week.

McCoist even admitted he is not sure if he will be able to follow through on his interest as he waits for chief executive Graham Wallace to complete his 120-day review of the club's books.

He said: "I wouldn't comment at all on players at other clubs because it's not fair to do that.

"I have spoken to two players. I can't give you names but that's where we are at the moment. The unfortunate position we are in is that we can't offer anyone anything.

"That's not ideal but we will continue to do our homework and prepare to move when we can."

If McCoist is to bring in new signings this summer, it is likely he will have to sniff them out himself as the club continues to function without a scouting operation.

But the former Scotland striker is hopeful that problem will be fixed soon.

"It's not easy without a scouting department I have to tell you," he said. "But there are players we are looking at in the hope we might be able to buy them or get some free transfers.

"We don't know if that will happen but these are just options as we try to cover our bases.

"For a club like ourselves, to be in the position we are in with no scouting network is unacceptable.

"But Graham and I are in constant dialogue on these matters and the board are aware of the importance – particularly now, the most important time in our club's history – to have a top-class scouting department. We don't have it now but we will get one."

Rangers clinched a William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final slot by beating Albion Rovers on Monday night, but much of the debate since that 2-0 win has surrounded the venue and ticket share for their last-four clash with Dundee United.

Ibrox was chosen by the Scottish Football Association to stage the April 12 showdown but United requested the match was moved elsewhere after they were paired with Rangers.

However, McCoist does not believe Rangers will be favourites just because they will be running out in familiar surroundings.

He said: "I can totally understand some of the points but the decision has been made.

"I just think that in the modern day there is less advantage to home teams the higher up the ladder you go as a lot of top teams enjoy going away because it brings the opposition on to them."

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