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Scottish giants Rangers aiming to make Ghana defender Rashid Sumaila first signing

Coach Pedro Caixinha is pursuing a deal to make powerful Ghanaian defender Rashid Sumaila his first Rangers signing for the Scottish giants.

The Ibrox boss described the 24-year-old as his ‘trusted centre-back’ after taking him on loan at Qatari club Al-Gharafa from Kuwait’s Al-Qadisa.

And on Friday Sumaila’s Portuguese representative claimed the Ibrox club have already made contact with the free agent over a move to Scotland this summer.

‘I can confirm that Rangers have approached the player and informed his club in Kuwait,’ Pedro Serpa Pinto told Sportsmail .

‘As you know the player is on loan at Al Gharafa right now. But he likes the coach Pedro Caixinha and he would like to work with him again in Scotland.

‘I think this can happen. But so far nobody from Rangers has been in contact with me directly.’

Caixinha has assembled a list of around a dozen transfer targets for the summer.

Reports in Mexico have also linked the Ibrox boss with moves for his former Santos Laguna right back Jose Abella and central defender Carlos Izquierdoz following an admission he wants players he knows and trusts.

Capped six times for the Ghana national team, Sumaila made the 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup.

The 6ft tall defender has had a nomadic club career, including a spell in South Africa prior to moving to Kuwait where he won a best foreign player award.

He subsequently became a key player for Caixinha during his time in charge at Al-Gharafa.

Work permit issues would have to be resolved and agent Serpa Pinto admitted Rangers have yet to contact him for talks over terms.

But he believes agreement is within reach and added: ‘Anything is possible in football but it depends on their value of the player.

‘So far nobody from Rangers has contacted my directly and they will have to because I am the official agent of the player.

‘I expect they will contact me soon when we will sit down and have a discussion.’

Argentinian Izquierdoz, 28, signed a new three-year deal with Santos Laguna earlier this year but confirmed an Ibrox interest last month.

Mexico Under-20s cap Abella is regarded as one of the best right backs in the Mexican League and has been at Santos Laguna for four years.

Speaking to Rangers TV on Thursday Caixinha admitted: ‘We want to reduce the risks, so what I am going to look for are players that I know, either from having worked with them before or because I have watched them playing on a regular basis.’

Meanwhile, Caixinha met chairman Dave King during the chairman’s whistle-stop visit to Scotland last week.

King flew in from South Africa on business but missed the Old Firm game at Ibrox.

Asked if he met King, the Portuguese said: ‘Yes. We are discussing what’s happening on a daily basis with regard to the future.’

Rashid Sumaila

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