Mark Warburton can make Rangers pay by signing Jonny Hayes for Nottingham Forest

Rangers manager Mark Warburton

Dave King reportedly refused to allow Mark Warburton to bring Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes to Rangers - though he won't face the same opposition at Forest.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton

Former Rangers manager Mark Warburton

Mark Warburton's departure from Rangers had seemed inevitable for some time. From underwhelming summer transfers to a series of limp performances as the Ibrox giants choked on Celtic's dust, the manager became increasingly unpopular among some sections of the support.

Nonetheless, when he finally stormed out of the Ibrox exit in February amid acrimony and confusion, it appeared that divisions in the boardroom rather than problems on the pitch were the final straw.

According to the Daily Record, Rangers' penny-pinching chairman Dave King refused to finance a £1 million deal for Aberdeen talisman Jonny Hayes.

Aberdeen's Jonathan Hayes looks dejected after a missed chanceJonny Hayes produced 24 assists in 2016/17

Enjoying a fine season at Pittodrie as The Dons eventually cruised to second place, nine points clear of Rangers, it's reported that Warburton saw Hayes as an upgrade on the out-of-favour Michael O'Halloran. Clearly, King no longer had any faith in his manager and a swift exit was the only logical conclusion.

Yet, looking back, it appeared that Warburton was right. Hayes would have been an upgrade on O'Halloran.


Rangers manager Mark Warburton

In fact, while the Northern Irishman was the only non-Celtic star to be nominated for the Player of the Year award, O'Halloran is firmly entrenched in the bad books of new manager Pedro Caixinha after failing to turn up for a reserve fixture.

As such, his immediate future appears to lie elsewhere.

And, according to the Evening Express, Warburton may finally get his name anyway with current club Nottingham Forest hoping to lure Hayes away from Scotland.

Aberdeen's Jonathan Hayes celebrates scoring their first goal

With eleven goals and an almighty 24 assists to his name in 2016/17, perhaps King should have trusted his manager's judgement. Rangers are crying out for a player of Hayes' quality.

If he stars in Forest colours next season, Warburton will have the last laugh.

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