ALLY McCOIST has stressed the need for a scouting system at Rangers if the Ibrox club are to return to the forefront of Scottish football.

The SPFL League One champions are looking to appoint a Director of Football Operations - and former player Christian Nerlinger is in the frame for the role.

Speaking from Brora, where Rangers are on a pre-season tour, McCoist admitted he was uncertain what responsibilities the man in the new position will have.

However, the gaffer reiterated his desire for the Light Blues to appoint a chief scout as they prepare for a push back into the top flight.

McCoist said: "I haven't heard anything regarding [the appointment of a Director of Football Operations]. I don't know anything about it.

"My priority this season is the same as every season - to win the league. But in terms of the infrastructure at the club, we desperately need a chief scout.

"If you lose 20 players valued at £40 million and you replace them with free transfers it's not the same. It's not rocket science.

"We have to get quality back in to get back to the level we want to be at. You're not going to do that in a year.

"The one thing you have with a scouting department is you have the potential to do a Sporting Lisbon. Go and get a boy at 18 or 19 and say: 'Right, it looks like we are not going to play you for 18 months, but we are going to develop you'.

"That is the ideal world but we're light years away from that. We need to get back to having a base where we have got people at games, people going to Europe to watch under-18 tournaments and under-21 tournaments. We don't have a scout."

McCOIST has come in for scathing criticism from some Rangers fans during the summer months for the players he has brought in.

He has signed former fans' favourites Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller - now aged 30 and 34, respectively - in the close season, and he has brought in Darren McGregor, the former St Mirren centre-half, on a free transfer.

But McCoist has stressed that financial restrictions and the lack of a scouting system have frustrated attempts to recruit more new players.

He said: "My coaching staff and myself watch French football, Dutch football, everything. But we can't go and watch players unless they are in Scotland because of the situation the club is in.

"If you have scouts, they can go and watch games, they can recommend players and you can go and look at them.

"At this moment you're just watching games on DVDs. You're getting players sent to you from agents, which is great and we follow it up - but it is not an ideal situation."

McCoist, whose side take on Brora Rangers at Dudgeon Park in their second pre- season friendly tomorrow, revealed his candidate for the chief scout's position.

He said: "I don't know what the plans are with the chief football officer. I don't know whether scouting would be his department or not.

"We have people we would like but let's be honest, there is a financial aspect as well. The club's situation is well documented.

"We need somebody to scout talent. We definitely need that. Whether it's the chief football officer's gig or the chief scout's gig is up for debate.

"But if we want to get back to a top standard in Scotland and get back to European football we have to have people assessing players."