ALLY McCoist and Charles Green last night moved to defuse the rising tension over claims and counter-claims surrounding disgraced former owner Craig Whyte and insisted their joint mission to rebuild Rangers was solid.

The Ibrox club has been under siege following reports that Whyte is mounting court action to wrest control back from chief executive Green after claiming he still owns Rangers and that Green was acting as his frontman during last year's takeover.

But Green met McCoist yesterday to reassure him that Whyte has no role to play in the future of the club. The disgraced former owner is threatening to take legal action over claims that he is owed £1m a year for life or 25% of Green's shares, and Green admitting that he still has possession of £137,000 of Whyte's money.

McCoist publicly demanded answers from his chief executive on Saturday and both men issued a joint statement later which restated their determination that Whyte should not be allowed to return to the club in any capacity, nor benefit from his involvement.

"I spoke with Ally McCoist today and we are agreed that despite the wild and outlandish allegations tossed around by Craig Whyte, the one thing that matters most is the rebuilding of this club," said Green.

"I am totally committed to that and Ally is exactly the same. Neither of us will be deflected from our task. We share the same goal and we will be successful no matter who or what attempts to get in our way.

"I made it absolutely clear to Ally that there was never any possibility of Whyte returning to Ibrox and I also stressed that this man has no claim on any of the club's shares or assets," he added.

"I could have waited until after the Queen's Park match at Hampden but I met with Ally today. I wanted to make sure he understood what Whyte is trying to do because, like every other fan, our manager has a right to know if the disgraced former owner still has any involvement in this club. I told Ally that is not the case and that there was never any possibility of Whyte being involved with my group.

"Ally knows and accepts that I cannot be held responsible for Whyte's ramblings or his ridiculous claims. But he is a fan and he would have been alarmed at the re-emergence of Whyte and his claims.

"Along with all the good and loyal Rangers fans Ally has lived through the brief but calamitous Whyte era and the very mention of this man's name is enough to have even the strongest of them concerned. But there is no need for any anxiety.

"Rangers FC, no part of it and none of the assets will ever fall into Whyte's hands. If I have to I will stand at the front door and deny him entry. I can guarantee every single fan that I will not let them down and that Whyte has no claim on any part of this great club.

"I have told Ally that and I have told him the truth of the matter, just as I have always done. He knows what we are doing and where we want to take this huge club and Rangers FC will return to the very top.

"Whyte will have nothing to do with that and he will never benefit from it either. That is an absolute fact and I just wish the media would stop pandering to a man who is clearly out of touch with reality."

"Yes we spoke and I'm glad we did," said McCoist. "I never believed that Charles had entered into any kind of agreement but it was important to have a chat after what the former owner had been putting about in the papers. I am a fan and it would be devastating to have this man back anywhere near the club he almost destroyed."

Green's attempt at a rapprochement with his manager came after McCoist had warned he won't hang around as Rangers manager if he isn't given the final say on selecting players.

Although the club have agreed a pre-contract with Kilmarnock goalkeeper Cammy Bell, and are well advanced in completing Bosman deals for the likes of Dundee United striker Jon Daly, the hasty departure of chief scout Neil Murray and Charles Green's close links to agent Paul Stretford have left question marks as the club overhauls its entire recruitment processes.

"We have a list the length of anybody's arm and we have them prioritised," said McCoist. "It's fair to say the positions which need strengthened are in the centre-forward and centre-half areas along with other positions.

"But, listen, there's absolutely no point in me sitting here telling you we're going to do this and these are our plans if I don't have the say in what players are coming in, no point at all.

"I certainly won't be Rangers manager next year playing someone else's players. I will not be signing any player myself and my staff don't want. There's no point in me being at this club if I'm not in charge of players coming into this club."

So much for next season, though, as the Irn-Bru Third Division champions still have some of this season to get out the way. McCoist hinted Lee McCulloch could return to striker for today's visit to Hampden to take on Queen's Park, while fit-again Ross Perry could replace the suspended Chris Hegarty.

"Now that we've won the league it's an opportunity to get big Lee back up front," said McCoist. "We've not got a centre-forward. In the last couple of games we've played young Kane Hemmings up front, but we're miles short in that department."