Ally McCoist has admitted Rangers are finding it difficult to persuade players to sign for them because they do not want to drop into the lower leagues.

The Ibrox club can offer pre-contracts to players whose deals are up in the summer, but many seem reluctant to swap higher leagues for further down the pecking order.

Rangers look likely to be playing in the Irn-Bru Second Division next term, or the 18-team bottom tier that is being considered under league reconstruction plans. A registration embargo is in place until September 1 but the club can sign players who are out of contract after that date, so players who are free agents in the summer can commit to Rangers now by agreeing terms.

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Chief scout Neil Murray has been watching matches across the UK to assess potential signings, but bringing them to the club is proving more troublesome.

"It's really hard getting players of a standard we feel should be representing the club to come," McCoist said. "It's where our position within Scottish football is at the minute. It's harder than I thought it would be.

"There are some players who just aren't interested. The only reason they're looking is because of the name. It hasn't shocked me, but it has disappointed me.

"What we have to do now is put together a team for next season, with a higher standard of player for a better level. Where we are is the biggest problem when it comes to attracting players.

"In the short term, we're more likely to be able to strengthen the squad with British players who know what Rangers is all about. We are close with a couple and I'm just scared of that door getting slammed again. But t could happen in the next couple of weeks and that would be ideal."