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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Carlisle United boss keeps eye on Rangers' player exodus

Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott today admitted he is monitoring the player exodus at crisis-hit Rangers.

Greg Abbott photo
Greg Abbott

The Blues boss says it would be wrong to ignore the possibility of former Ibrox stars becoming available after their well-publicised financial woes.

Abbott said he “wouldn’t be proud” of taking advantage of the Glasgow giants’ plight. But the expected exodus of players has alerted managers across England and the United boss admits he is studying the fall-out.

Star players like John Fleck, Jamie Ness, Juan Manuel Ortiz, Sone Aluko, Steven Naismith, Allan McGregor, Kyle Lafferty, Rhys McCabe and Andy Little are among those set to leave. Some, like Coventry target Fleck, are believed to have moves to English clubs already lined up.

Abbott said: “It’s not something I would be proud of doing but it’s also something we have to be aware of. You might find that some big clubs are chasing down their top players to get them on the cheap. That means the younger players who interest us might suddenly have a better chance of playing for the new Rangers team. So it might not necessarily be a great advantage to us but we have to be aware of it.”

Stoke and Coventry are poised to sign Ness and Fleck respectively for nothing from Rangers, who are facing liquidation.

Incoming owner Charles Green has secured the business and assets in a deal valued at £5.5m and is trying to persuade Rangers’ players to transfer their existing deals to the new company. But several are unhappy and claim their existing contracts are null and void, effectively rendering them free agents.

Kyle Hutton, Lee McCulloch and Lee Wallace have so far committed themselves to the new company.

Abbott, meanwhile, is set for talks with a transfer target today as he bids to add a third summer signing to his squad. The Blues boss said the unnamed target is a young forward player.

Abbott has also indicated he is talking to top-flight clubs about the possibility of taking young stars on long-term loan deals. “I've spoken to three of the biggest clubs in England,” he said. “A lot of players need season-long loans and that way they seem like your player – you can integrate them into how you work and become a part of your system and club.”

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