ALLY McCOIST is confident Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian will come back to Rangers next summer – as he prepares to open contract talks with current Ibrox stars.

The defensive duo both left Glasgow earlier this year, penning loan deals with Racing Santander and Spezia respectively.

Rangers are unable to register new players until after the close of the summer transfer window next year and McCoist, who has already seen skipper Lee McCulloch commit his future to the club, is keen to continue his long-term planning.

He said: "I certainly hope to have them [Bocanegra and Goian] back for next season.

"I spoke to Carlos recently and he has been great. He is on the phone asking how the boys are doing, as is Dorin.

"I think it's important that the fans know that they are still keeping in touch with the club which is great."

He added: "Lee is a key man for us and I'm pleased that he extended his contract for another two years.

"There has been a lot said of the young lads in the team – and rightly so. Lads like Fraser Aird, Barrie McKay, Lewis Macleod, Robbie Crawford and Chris Hegarty have come in and done well.

"But there is a lot of responsibility on the older lads. Lee has shouldered that responsibility as has Neil Alexander so we are delighted to have secured Lee on a two-year extension.

"The plan is that Lee will guide the younger players in the journey ahead. There has never been a more important time for the Rangers captain to play his role than now.

"It's very important that the younger lads are coached and helped through these next couple of seasons.

"Overall I think the more experienced players have got more responsibility now than they have ever had.

"We will have a chat with [chief executive] Charles Green and look at the situation with one or two of the other players. I think it's important to show loyalty to players who have shown loyalty to the club."

While the experienced centre-half pairing of Bocanegra and Doian are playing on the Continent, McCoist has seen youngster Hegarty flourish in the first-team arena.

He admits versatility will prove crucial for the Gers as they return to Irn-Bru Third Division duty tomorrow against Peterhead at Ibrox.

He said: "Chris is a great lad. He is really solid and a good defender.

"In the last two games he has played right- back, right centre-back and left-back – but that's the way things have been because of injuries and the boys know they have to deal with it.

"Andy Little ended up playing right-back last Saturday and sometimes players are going to have to move into unaccustomed positions for the team's benefit.

"We played well last week for most of the game, scored good goals and some of the finishes were fantastic.

"Hopefully that bodes well for this weekend."