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Rangers show interest in Khumalo

Tottenham Hotspur assistant manager Kevin Bond has confirmed several clubs have asked about a loan deal for Bongani Khumalo amid interest from Rangers.

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Khumalo, who signed in January from SuperSport United, enjoyed a successful loan spell with Preston in the Championship last season before suffering a metatarsal injury.

He is still recovering full fitness and Bond says he is "a little behind" the rest of the players, but it appears he likely to seal another temporary deal after completing pre-season with Spurs.

Asked about interest from Rangers and Bristol City, Bond told Kick Off: "Bongani spent last season on loan and did well, and obviously when that happens a lot of clubs start phoning to enquire."

He added that the pressure of playing for Rangers at Ibrox "will be good" for the South Africa defender.

Meanwhile, Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor admits the club need new players quickly after their thin squad was exposed on their pre-season tour of Germany.

Rangers lost all three games without finding the net, suffering defeats against Sportfreunde Lotte, who play in the regional leagues below the third tier of German football, plus Bundesliga 2 side Bochum and Bayer Leverkusen.

Director of football Gordon Smith confirmed at the weekend that Rangers were in talks with Espanyol over a move for defender Raul Rodriguez but the Ibrox club are still waiting to hear back.

Only winger Juan Manuel Ortiz has arrived at Ibrox this summer despite the pledge from Craig Whyte that at least £5million would be made available to revamp the squad.

McCoist has lost numbers from his squad following the departures of loan players Vladimir Weiss, El-Hadji Diouf, Kyle Bartley and Richard Foster.

McGregor told the club's official website: "We are still hopeful things will come together and it has still been a good tour, the results apart. We have done a lot of good work behind the scenes and while training has been hard, that is what we have needed.

"Our fitness levels are coming and hopefully they continue rising over the next 10 days so that we're ready for the start of the league. At the same time, I think we have seen how much we need to get the right people in and pretty sharpish at that.''

While most managers make a raft of substitutions in pre-season games, Ally McCoist did not make one change as Rangers lost 2-0 to Leverkusen last night.

The home side were able to bring on former Germany captain Michael Ballack, who netted the second from the spot, but McCoist only had a bench full of youngsters plus David Healy, who has been troubled by a minor ankle injury.

With Kyle Lafferty expected to be out for four to six weeks with a groin injury and Madjid Bougherra fighting to overcome a hamstring strain to make the Scottish Premier League season opener against Hearts on July 23, McGregor is eager for action in the transfer market.

"We need to get some new signings into the club,'' McGregor said. "I know the manager has been working really hard to get in the guys he feels he needs since he got the job.

"It has been difficult in the sort of climate he is working in, where some guys can maybe earn more money in the Championship than the SPL nowadays. But I think it would give us all a lift if we were able to push one or two things through and hopefully that can happen.''

Rodriguez, 23, has only made 10 first-team appearances for Espanyol but McCoist believes he can step into the team right away.

McCoist said: "We have contacted Espanyol with a bid but haven't heard back from them. Raul's a centre-back and we definitely need strengthening in that department. We just need cover and hopefully Rodriguez will give us that.

"He's someone I'd look to bring right into the team. I'm not looking for players who aren't going to play. We're still looking at other players and there will be other bids going in over the next 48 hours. Rodriguez won't be the last defender we go for.''


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