Mark Hateley suggests Rangers will need eight new signings if they qualify for Europe

Mark Warburton is hoping to lead Glasgow Rangers to Scottish Cup success this weekend.

Former Rangers forward Mark Hateley believes that the Gers winning this weekend's Scottish Cup final and qualifying for next season's Europa League would mean that Mark Warburton will need to make as many as eight new signings in preparation for the squad's Scottish Premiership return, the Daily Record reports.

The Light Blues stormed to the Scottish Championship title and won the Challenge Cup this season. Nevertheless, the five-time Premiership winner suggested that the demands of the top flight will force Warburton to make a significant number of additions in the coming months, while booking a place in Europe would see that number increase even further.

"Those who have been playing this year have had expectations on their shoulders, but you can double that for next year," he told the Record.

"That can bring its own mental fatigue because it’s hard when you’re playing big matches week in, week out.

"Looking at the squad around Christmas, I felt they needed to bring in six or seven players to add to what they've already got and that was before they brought in Harry Forrester, who has been a good acquisition, but has been unfortunate with his injury.

"So I would still say six, but if there is a European campaign I would add two on top of that."

With the Gers' current campaign not completed until Saturday, it appears that Warburton will have no problem completing the amount of deals that Hateley believes will be required, judging by how busy Ibrox has been so far.

Josh Windass and Matt Crooks have both now played their final games for Accrington Stanley ahead of their moves while Jordan Rossiter also recently completed a deal to join the club.

And with both Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar holding talks with the club (via Record), it appears that they could possibly be halfway to eight signings before they even bring the curtain down on this season.

While their completed business should give Hateley confidence that their midfield will be strong enough to cope with the demands of playing continental football, and Martyn Waghorn's form would suggest that the side do not need much more depth up front, Warburton's largest concern will surely be his defensive options.

With Dominic Ball set to return to Tottenham following his loan spell, the first-team squad will have just four defenders left so strengthening in that department will surely be at the top of Warburton's priority list. 

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