RANGERS were today bracing themselves for a deadline-busting move for Lee Wallace.
The Scotland internationalist has been the subject of two approaches from Championship outfit Nottingham Forest, but after the Gers turned down a deal in the region of £900,000, boss Billy Davies has cooled his interest in the left-back. The Scot yesterday completed a deal to sign ex-Celtic defender Danny Fox, but there is still time left for Wallace to be lured south of the border before tonight’s 11pm deadline.
An offer in the region of £1.4million could tempt the Ibroxhierarchy into doing business for the 26-year-old, who joined from Hearts in the summer of 2011 and has become a firm fans’ favourite.
But, with just hours left of the transfer window and little prospect of McCoist being able to bring in a replacement, supporters are still left fearing the defender’s exit.
Wallace’s future was on the agenda when Ibrox chief executive Graham Wallace met with representatives from the Rangers Supporters’ Trust, Assembly and Association yesterday to outline his plans as he attempts to cut costs after the Rangers International Football Club plc posted a £14million loss last year.
It was Wallace’s first face-to-face meeting with the fans’ groups since he took over in November.
And he warned it could take five years before Rangers can fully compete again with Old Firm rivals Celtic and become key players on the European stage.
A statement on the Rangers Supporters’ Trust website today welcomed Wallace’s long-term vision.
It stated: “He recognised there was too much focus on short-term planning and said that there needs to be a five-year plan that covers us getting back to competing with Celtic at the top of the SPFL and playing European football and growing the business.
“He needs time to put the plan in place and changes will need to be made to enable the club to live within its means.
“It was encouraging that he has a clear vision, he demonstrated a desire to work with fans’ representatives on an ongoing basis, realises the importance of trust between the club and the fans and wants to address that as a priority.”
The fans also urged Wallace to build stronger links with supporters to clear the air of suspicion over boardroom politics.
The statement added: “He realises the importance of trust between the club and the fans and wants to address that as a priority.”
McCoist's squad rejected proposals that would have seen them take a 15% pay cut earlier this month as part of money-saving measures.
And Lee Wallace has emerged as the club's most bankable playing asset. If the left-back does remain a Rangers player, he could soon be collecting his second successive title medal as McCoist's side close in on the League One crown.
Rangers will clinch the title at home to Dunfermline on March 15 if they can win their next six third tier fixtures and striker Jon Daly is keen to celebrate as soon as possible.
He told rangers.co.uk: "When I signed for the club, the ambition at the start of the season was to win the league so if we're six games away now that's brilliant.
"It's probably sooner than I would have thought it would have been but we'll just look to the next game and go on from there.
"We'll look to get three points and go on from there then try to get the title wrapped up as soon as we can."