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Walter Smith tracks American internationalist Stuart Holden

Walter Smith has identified Stuart Holden, the ­American internationalist, as his primary transfer target should he find himself in a position to add to his squad during the January transfer window.

The financial situation at the club dictates that no new players will be arriving at Ibrox until a takeover has been completed. It is understood there are a number of parties still interested in gaining control of the SPL champions.

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In the meantime, Smith has to continue to work away behind the scenes in case he should find himself in a position to move into the transfer market and is already well down the line in his pursuit of the 24-year-old Dynamo Houston midfielder.

The Herald understands Rangers have watched Holden twice recently, with chief scout Ewan Chester 
running the rule over the ­player as the USA went down 3-1 in a friendly earlier this week.

Maurice Johnston, the former Scotland and Old Firm striker, is believed to have ­recommended Holden to Rangers’ assistant manager Ally McCoist after notifying him of his availability on a free transfer.

Johnston also put the Ibrox club on the trail of Maurice Edu initially and the ­midfielder eventually moved from Toronto FC in a £2.5m transfer at the beginning of last season.

Aberdeen-born Holden, who emigrated with his ­parents when he was 10, has won 10 caps for the US, scoring two goals in the process. His contract is set to expire at the end of next month and a host of clubs are thought to be monitoring his progress.

After two previous failed ventures at Sunderland and Newcastle as a teenager, Holden is thought to harbour ambitions of trying his luck outside of America. It is believed he has also spoken at length with Edu regarding life in Glasgow and playing for Rangers.

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