RANGERS are close to a deal with Ecuadorian midfielder Jose Cifuentes.
But Manchester United want to abuse his move for keeper Jack Butland.
SunSport announced last month that Michael Beale had set his sights on Los Angeles FC star Cifuentes as part of his Ibrox rebuild over the summer.
Gers could now be close to overtaking French club Toulouse in signing the 24-year-old.
Cifuentes, previously linked with Celtic and Manchester City, is under contract with the MLS side until the end of the season in December.
However, it is understood that LAFC is inviting offers for its star rather than letting him go for nothing.
Rangers bosses have been in talks with player representatives over the past week to explore their options.
And reports from Ecuador have confirmed that talks are reaching an advanced stage.
Meanwhile, SunSport are also able to announce that United are ready to double the salary offer from the Ibrox side to former England goalkeeper Butland.
The 30-year-old has spent this season on loan at Old Trafford from Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.
With his contract at Selhurst Park due to expire in the summer, Gers manager Beale was aiming for Butland to join Bosman.
Gers is understood to be ready to top up his salary from the Eagles and is hoping to lure him north with promises of a move to the first-team.
But now Erik ten Hag has decided he wants to bring Butland back to replace David de Gea and Dean Henderson, who are set to return from his own loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
That means Butland will have to decide whether he wants to play regularly with Gers or make more money at Old Trafford.
United’s move could be a huge blow to Beale, who believed his main objective would soon be achieved.
SunSport announced last month that the Gers manager is close to making Butland his first signing of the summer.
The England international had signaled his willingness to move north in search of regular duty.
He’s only made 17 appearances in the last three years — and NONE this season.
However, he is now considering whether to increase his bank balance significantly or become the new number 1 for Rangers.
Allan McGregor is expected to retire this summer while Jon McLaughlin’s future remains uncertain.
Robby McCrorie has started the last two Premiership games and kept clean sheets against Aberdeen and Celtic.
The 25-year-old should get more action against Hibs on Sunday and in the games against Hearts and St Mirren.
But Butland has been targeted as the first choice for next season and it looks like Gers will be sweating to get his man.
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