MARK ALLEN hopes Rangers will become less reliant on the loan market in the coming years as he and Steven Gerrard prepare for a crucial summer of business.

Boss Gerrard made significant changes to the squad that he inherited at Ibrox ahead of his first campaign in charge of the Light Blues.

Several of those deals were temporary switches but some have been more successful than others this term.

Ryan Kent has been the standout in that regard following his switch from Liverpool, while Joe Worrall has been a key part of the squad after moving from Nottingham Forest.

But the deals for Lassana Coulibaly, Ovie Ejaria and Umar Sadiq didn’t pay off.

Rangers went back into the loan market to sign Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis in January and both will be in Gerrard’s squad next term.

And Director of Football Allen is keen to strike the right balance this summer.

He told RangersTV: “I don’t think it’s a secret to say we are looking at somebody in that attacking midfield area that can bring us a little bit of joy towards the top end of the pitch. There’s no secret to the fact that Joe Worrall will go back and return to Nottingham Forest, so obviously, there’s a focus on making sure we are robust there and I think generally we’re looking at where we think we can strengthen.

“It’s going to be strengthening bearing in mind the number of games we are hoping to be playing again next season. I think the loan market is something that can work for us as a football club with our financial model and the way we operate.

“However, we are trying to become less and less reliant on it because ultimately I’d like to provide a situation where we’re getting returns on investments for the players we sign - but it’s a fine balance.

“We’ve already looked at targets in the loan market and we are well on our way.

“I think myself and Steven have said on many occasions as one window closes, the next one opens, it’s just not an official opening.

“So we’ve been at it from the close of the January window in terms of having a very clear understanding on what we think we need to strengthen, and then to pursue those targets through scouting and watching matches etc.”