PEDRO Caixinha, the Rangers manager, last night revealed he has had Ryan Jack, the Aberdeen captain who looks set to leave Pittodrie at the end of the season, scouted since being appointed at Ibrox.

The Portuguese coach has identified several signing targets he believes will be able to help his side challenge Celtic for silverware next term and has admitted he is interested in bringing in talented Scottish players. He confessed that Jack, who is out of contract at the end of the 2016/17 campaign, has caught his attention since he arrived in this country back in March with his performances for Derek McInnes’s team.

McInnes dismissed speculation about the 25-year-old moving to Rangers last month – he stressed that if he does move on it will be to England – and added that he was hopeful of keeping him. But Caixinha said: “I scout and assess a lot of Scottish players, at least those who play more against us. Jack has not played for the last two or three matches and maybe he is not playing against us.

“But he is one player that because of his age, because of his quality and because of what he has done in the last two seasons, that I like. There are maybe six or seven more like Jack that we assessed. He is a good player, young and Scottish. I like his consistency. I like his leadership as captain at a young age. I like the way he sees the game and gives the out ball in the build-up. He gives a balance to the deal when it’s attacking. So that’s what I like about him.

“There are some points for him to work on. He needs to divide a game and get more involved in the second stage of the offence phase.

“But he brings aggression to midfield, especially at moments when you need balance.

“Players can be released in attack when they know other players are giving them cover. We have struggled with that, definitely.”

Meanwhile, Caixinha, whose side take on Aberdeen at Ibrox tomorrow evening, has also dismissed suggestions he had spoken to Alexandros Tziolis, the Hearts midfielder whom he worked with when he was assistant manager at Panathinaikos, about joining him at Rangers. It was claimed that he had held talks with the former Greek internationalist immediately after his side’s 2-1 win over the Tynecastle club at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon. “I worked with him 10 years ago,” he said “But just because I talk to him I am linked with you. Please, I have relationships with players and I salute players.

I am happy to feel I have friends, even if they are from working together 10 years ago.”