Rangers: Mark Warburton to resume talks over new contract

Mark Warburton poses with the Scottish Premiership trophy, with The Kelpies as a backdrop
Warburton spoke publicly on Tuesday for the first time since before the Scottish Cup final

Rangers boss Mark Warburton has played down reports that talks over an extension to his contract have stalled.

The Englishman, who has two years left on his current deal, prioritised a family holiday over fresh talks after their Scottish Cup final loss to Hibs.

"We opened the discussion and then I had to have some family time," he said.

"I had 10 days overseas, three days at home, seven days at St George's Park and then back here. It's nothing more than two parties being very busy."

Warburton, who led Rangers to the Championship title, the Challenge Cup and a Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic in his first season at Ibrox, said he expected contract talks to resume "in the coming days".

"Apart from being very close to divorce, it was just some family time," he joked.

"The board and the owner, you see how busy they are with club business and taking the club forward."

The 53-year-old former City trader, regularly linked with English clubs, dismissed any suggestions the pressure of managing in Glasgow had made him consider his long-term future.

"It was an enjoyable season," he said. "If you can't enjoy winning a championship, winning the Challenge Cup, getting to a final, having a semi-final against Celtic, then don't be in the business.

"I heard it in the City about burnout. Nonsense. Enjoy it. I'm in a very privileged position, it's a great opportunity, a fantastic club.

"Of course there's pressure but you just have to enjoy it and recognise it's part and parcel of the job."

'Three or four more players needed'

The former Brentford manager has already recruited former QPR team-mates Joey Barton and Clint Hill, with another - Niko Kranjcar - expected in Glasgow for a medical on Wednesday.

Niko Kranjcar in action for QPR in May 2015
Niko Kranjcar could join former QPR team-mates Joey Barton and Clint Hill at Ibrox

Liverpool youngster Jordan Rossiter and Accrington duo Matt Crooks and Josh Windass have also arrived, but Warburton hopes to make several more signings.

"We need three or four more and we are very close to two or three, which I hope will get done in the next few days, and then maybe one more later in the window," he said.

"We looked at last season and probably lacked a bit of experience, maturity and ruggedness, and I think in Joey Barton and Clint Hill we have got that.

"But I like young, hungry players with good development potential and in Jordan Rossiter, Matt Crooks and Josh (Windass) we have got that. The balance is good."

'We need more cover up front and in midfield'

Warburton refused to discuss former Tottenham midfielder Kranjcar, who was most recently with New York Cosmos.

But he did reveal a goalkeeper - with back-up Cammy Bell on the verge of a move to Dundee United - midfielder and striker were on his shopping list.

"We need cover," he added. "We went through last season with two full-backs. Lee Wallace and James Tav (Tavernier) played nearly every minute of every game.

"All credit to them and the support staff, but we were exposed. We have to have a bit more depth and quality, but make sure they are people who buy into what we are trying to do and recognise the responsibility of playing for Rangers.

"The games will be more physical, the demands and intensity will be higher. We recognise there are some very good teams in the division."

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