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Rangers told to pay up for Michael O’Halloran

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Rangers have yet to make a third bid for St.Johnstone winger Michael O’Halloran according to St.Johnstone manager Tommy Wright.

St.Johnstone have already rejected two bids from the Ibrox club for O’Halloran, but Wright is adamant that 25-year-old is still a Perth Saint despite his exclusion from the squad to face Hamilton Accies on Saturday.

Wright said: “I didn’t feel that Michael was ready to play, he wasn’t right today, I probably felt that he wasn’t right from the middle of the week, mentally.

“I’ve got to put out the best team that I feel can get us a result, I just think that the state of where Michael is at the minute, it would be remiss of me not to consider not playing him.

“There’s a lot of rumours and speculation and I don’t know where that’s coming from, me and Michael have a good relationship and it was my decision and solely my decision not to play him, based on how I felt he was. There hasn’t been another bid and listen it’s great that he is being linked with Rangers, a massive club, it’s great, there’s been two bids, both knocked back.”

Wright also reminded Rangers and Mark Warburton that they would not get the player on the cheap and that they would have to pay the going rate for him.

“Its simple economics as well, Mark Warburton is from a business background, he simply knows if you go into a shop and you want to buy something, you have to pay the price. So, there’s been two bids, they’ve been knocked back as far as I’m aware there’s been no third bid, it might have happened during the game, I don’t know, there hasn’t been a third bid so Michael is our player.

“And you have to keep in mind that Michael is contracted to us for the next eighteen months, so that will remain and we’re quite entitled to knock back any bid that comes for our player, and Rangers are quite entitled to make bids but nothing’s happening and I expect Michael to be training on Monday, and we’re getting ready for Celtic next week.”

On Friday, Gers manager Mark Warburton claimed that Rangers would not be held to ransom over O’Halloran. With 18 months left on his contract and the Perth club under no financial pressure to sell their star asset, Rangers’ previous bids have being knocked back with little fuss.

But it seems that Warburton is getting frustrated at not being able to sign the man who helped to dump the Ibrox side out of the League Cup back in September.

Warburton commented: “If it doesn’t represent value on and off the pitch then why enter into it? It’s like buying a house if you’re not comfortable with the figure you are going to pay then don’t pay it, there are other houses on the market so go and find one you are comfortable with.

“There’s a big difference between being comfortable and being brave. If you have to wait to sign for players then you have to wait but I am not a fan of that, I think the longer you leave it clubs on both sides of the equation make poor decisions.

“But right now if it doesn’t represent value or the player doesn’t want to be here, then we won’t pursue it. We know what the market is and what we have to pay for a player. We might say X but someone else might say Y, we base it on what we think is the value and how it will benefit the club.

“These are boys I want to bed in. Of course, they would have a part to play in the rest of the season but the idea is for them to make an impact at the next level.”

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scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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