Warburton confirms latest Rangers signing is close, with Gedion Zelalem heading to Ibrox

Gedion Zelalem

Mark Warburton has admitted that Gedion Zelalem is set to join Rangers.

Rangers boss Mark Warburton has told The Scotsman that Arsenal starlet Gedion Zelalem is set to complete a loan move to Ibrox.

Warburton has already heavily strengthened his squad this summer, with Wes Foderingham, James Tavernier, Rob Kiernan, Danny Wilson, Dominic Ball, Andrew Halliday, Jason Holt, Nathan Oduwa and Martyn Waghorn all arriving in Glasgow.

Having landed Ball and Oduwa on loan from Tottenham, it now seems that Warburton is set to make a loan swoop on another North London club, with Arsenal's Zelalem poised to join Rangers.

The 18-year-old midfielder, who has six caps for the United States Under-20 side, is highly-rated at the Emirates Stadium, but needs first team football in order to continue his development.

Now, Warburton has told The Scotsman that Zelalem is set to make the move to Ibrox - but won't face Hibernian this weekend, with the manager preferring to have his new signings bed in to the side before being thrust into first-team action.

"Any player coming to the squad needs a chance to get to know the squad and them to know him so he’s not for this Sunday," said Warburton. "He’s a very talented ball player. He sees a pass, he’s very creative and one of the young gems at Arsenal. In my mind he will be a permanent first-team player in the future.

"His development will continue up here. Ibrox is a big plus point. Playing in front of 50,000 will be great for his development. We have to make sure that we replicate playing for Arsenal as close as we can and make sure everything is right logistically."

"He’s a creator. He is slight in frame but he is a very clever footballer. He’s got work to do and he is nowhere near the finished article so that’s why he’s coming to us to continue his development and I’m sure it will work out well for us," he added.

Given Zelalem's reputation at Arsenal, this is quite the coup for Rangers. The German-born playmaker should thrive in the Scottish Championship, and Warburton's reputation for developing young players - such as Tottenham's Alex Pritchard during a loan spell with Brentford last season - this could be the ideal move for Arsenal, Rangers, and Zelalem himself.

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