RANGERS have earmarked the Hungarian defender who helped to end Berti Vogts' Scotland reign as the man to solve their troublesome left wing-back slot.
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Szabolcs Huszti, 21, of Ferencvaros, who scored twice in Hungary's 3-0 friendly win over Scotland last March, is being lined up for a summer move to Ibrox as Alex McLeish prepares for the departure of on-loan Liverpool defender Gregory Vignal.
Vignal has already rejected two contract offers and seems certain to leave in the summer with the club resisting his calls for improved terms. Marseille are favourites to seal the Frenchman's signature, and with Michael Ball also nearing the exit door, McLeish has pinpointed Huszti as a longterm replacement.
Rated as one of a resurgent Hungary's most promising talents, Huszti has been a regular on the international scene since German legend Lothar Matthaus took over 14 months ago.
English Premiership strugglers West Bromwich Albion failed to sign Huszti in the January transfer window. He is out of contract in June, and although his Budapest club are entitled to compensation as he is under 23, it will be nowhere near the pounds-1 million Ferencvaros were publicly demanding last month to release him early.
Huszti said: "I have heard there is some interest from Rangers in me. My objective is to play in the UK and Rangers would be a good option.
"I have fond memories of Scotland because I scored two goals there in one of my first games for Hungary. I like the people, I like the country and most importantly I like the football. It is very similar in style to the English game."
Ferencvaros coach Lazslo Csaba said: "I have heard that Rangers are watching Huszti and I'm not surprised. He is the sort of player who would attract interest from a lot of top sides.
"He is young, he has a big talent and I hope he can make a big career for himself."
Michael Ball has started the last three games in that position, including yesterday's Hibernian clash. However, the former Everton and England defender's future remains unclear.
McLeish said: "The left back position is there. Gregory has played very well and he would be entitled to think that he had earned the right to be first choice there. We just so happen to have a quality player like Michael Ball there as well.
"But Gregory's form has been very, very good and the only reason I changed it a couple of weeks ago was to give Michael some much needed match practice, and then we decided to go with Gregory on the left side of midfield for the cup tie because we had a bit of a problem with injured personnel, .
"We haven't offered anything else to Gregory. We haven't been talking."