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Liam Kelly Wanted By Rangers

Hands off, Mark Warburton!

Fulham U18 v Reading U18 - FA Youth Cup Semi Final: Second Leg Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images

After terminating the contract of Joey Barton, Rangers are on the look out for a new tough, aggressive midfielder to fill the gap - so are reportedly scouting 5ft 5in Liam Kelly.

This is according to HITC Sport, who allegedly have sources "close to the club" and manager Mark Warburton, who they say is "an admirer of Kelly with the ball-playing midfielder suiting the style of football that Warburton likes to play."

Only last season was 20 year old Kelly on loan at Bath City in the National League South, but has now played against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium after becoming one of Jaap Stam's most favoured youngsters. He has made a total of four first team appearances for far this season, as well as playing two games with the Under 23s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The report claims that "a number of clubs are understood to be monitoring Kelly's contract situation", with his current deal at the Madejski Stadium running out at the end of the season. It did emerge last week though that a renewal talks had begun, which is promising news.

As with any rumour, this could just be the media trying to create a story in this dull international break, and considering the source, this is likely to be the case. Nevertheless, it remains a pertinent point that Reading should look to tie down the Ireland U-21 players quickly, with his stock set to only increase the more he features in the first team.

You can check out Marc's first impressions of Kelly here.