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By ESPN Staff

McCoist hopes to keep Jelavic

Rangers manager Ally McCoist is hopeful rather than confident that Nikica Jelavic will remain at Ibrox beyond the January transfer window.

• Jelavic out for Gers

The striker was the subject of a failed bid from West Ham earlier in the week and has also been linked with Liverpool, West Brom, Fulham and QPR.

McCoist knows his top goalscorer - who misses Saturday's Scottish Premier League game against Hibernian through illness - could attract further offers before Tuesday's deadline.

On the prospect of Jelavic remaining at Rangers at least until the end of the season, the manager said: "I'm very hopeful. I'm not sure confidence is the right word because, as we know, anything can happen in the transfer window.

"But I'm very hopeful that he will still be a Rangers player at 11pm on Tuesday.''

Rangers already trail rivals Celtic by four points in the title race and, asked if they can retain the championship without Jelavic, McCoist said: "Time will tell. I would obviously be far happier going into the run-in with Nikica involved but I'm sensible enough to know that circumstances can change.''

The Ibrox boss says he has targets in mind if Jelavic does head for the exit door.

He added: "I can't forecast what's going to happen, I don't have a crystal ball. What I can guarantee is that we certainly have people in mind who we would like to bring in.''

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