Rangers eye Espanyol defender Raul Rodriguez

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
Raul Rodriguez chases Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Rodriguez (left) played in the Spanish top flight last season

Rangers are to hold discussions with Spanish club Espanyol over a move for their defender, Raul Rodriguez.

The 23-year-old impressed Rangers' scouts and could become the second addition to Ally McCoist's squad following the signing of Juanma Ortiz.

Rangers' director of football Gordon Smith told BBC Scotland: "He's a player we're considering.

"We've spoken to Espanyol and we'll speak to them again to try to come to an agreement over a fee."

Rodriguez spent three seasons with Gramenet in Spain's Second Division B before joining Catalonia neighbours Espanyol in summer 2010.

He initially played for Espanyol's B side but made 10 appearances for the senior team last season, taking his chance following an injury to Juan Forlin and the sale in January of Victor Ruiz.

"They've given us an idea of what they're looking for, so hopefully we can get something done," said Smith.

McCoist is keen to strengthen his defence but so far has been thwarted in his attempt to bring Spanish centre-half Carlos Cuellar back to Ibrox from Aston Villa.

Sasa Papac would welcome a return to Ibrox for his fellow defender, who spent the 2007/08 season with Rangers, winning both cups and reaching the Uefa Cup final.

"I know that the manager is interested in bringing Carlos Cuellar back to the club and that would be great," the Bosnian told Rangers' website.

"He is a very good player. We know how he can play after his great season with us before."

Cuellar's compatriot, Ortiz, became McCoist's first signing as Rangers manager when a fee was agreed with Almeria last week.

"I think we can be ready for the season, but I feel we need some more players because we don't have a very big squad," said Papac after the 3-0 pre-season friendly defeat by German side Bochum.

"I think Juan Manuel Ortiz is fitting in well, but he needs time.

"He has only just joined us, so he needs to get used to being at a new club, but I think he will do well for us."