Mark Warburton claims Rangers are close to securing agreement for Gedion Zelalem

Gedion Zelalem

Mark Warburton believes Rangers are closing in on a deal to keep Gedion Zelalem until the end of the season.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has told The Herald that the club are 'close to securing' a deal to keep Gedion Zelalem on loan until the end of the season.

The Gers drew 1-1 at Livingston on Saturday, as Jason Holt's first-half opener was cancelled out by a goal from Miles Hippolyte after the break.

The result leaves Rangers just three points clear at the top of the Scottish Championship table, and manager Warburton may have to look for January additions to make sure that his men win the title this season.

One move that will be at the forefront of his mind is concerning the future of midfielder Zelalem, who is currently on a loan deal from Arsenal.

The 18-year-old American youth international has been sent up to Ibrox to gain experience this season, and he has been a regular in the Rangers team - though his season has had its fair share of ups and down, with fans seemingly having a very split view on his performances so far.

It's clear though that Warburton wants to keep Zelalem at Rangers for the full season, with his current deal set to expire in January, where he would then return to Arsenal.

Now though, Warburton has told The Herald that he feels Rangers are close to an agreement for Zelalem, with Arsenal's Liam Brady heading up to Glasgow for talks over the player.

"So far, we are in good shape," said Warburton. "The feedback from Arsenal has been very positive. He is speaking to his family and, hopefully, we are closing to securing him. Liam has been up. He left his role as Academy Director and now has an important role in charge of the loan players. He was up for the Hibs game and I speak to him on the phone regularly."

"Our job is to make sure we have an environment here, which is conducive to his development. The current deal is until January, but, as long as everyone is happy, we will extend that. I have been delighted with his contribution and the last game he played for Rangers was his best so far. We have a great relationship with Arsenal and our job is to make sure they know their asset is being developed properly," he added.

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