McLeish must sell as Rangers face reality

Kieran Daley
Friday 31 January 2014 04:50
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No television, no money. The new reality of Scottish football is even hitting home at Rangers where the manager, Alex McLeish, has accepted that he must sell and sell again before he can spend.

The cloth-cutting exercise at Ibrox, where even the most affluent are having their means tested, means spectacular spending is a thing of the past and some of their prized assets will have to be put on sale

The signing of the midfielder Mikel Arteta at a cost of £6m from Barcelona has been augmented by the arrival of the abrasive Kevin Muscat from Wolves on a free transfer as McLeish tries to make up for the departures of Andrei Kanchelskis, Tony Vidmar and Scott Wilson, whose contracts had expired.

McLeish is left with a squad of 25 and empty coffers. "We have to be running with not too many players," he said of the new realities. "It's not a case that we are trying to off-load players – it's a lack of money."

So now he faces tough choices, which may mean Tore Andre Flo, a £12m signing, forsaking a big-match berth on the Rangers bench for a place in the starting line-up somewhere less glamourous. Alternatively, one of the other strikers, Michael Mols and Billy Dodds, may have to move, even if the winger Neil McCann does make his rumoured move to Sunderland.

McLeish added: "If teams make a bid for any player we would have to look at it if it were substantial. We are not a selling club but we would look at a substantial bid, in the same way that Leeds would not be able to say no to a huge bid from Manchester United for [Rio] Ferdinand. It's common sense and everyone is thinking along those lines."

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