Hal & Dave: where on earth are they?


Numerous Scottish (and indeed British) media outlets last week had St Johnstone forward Michael O’Halloran and Brentford’s defensive anchor Toumani Diagouraga as ‘done deals’ in lieu of a move to Ibrox.

Several national publications ‘confirmed’ the moves, for a roughly combined total of around £1M, and even as recently as yesterday a huge tabloid stated the deal for O’Halloran would be complete by the end of play.

Add to that Talksport’s Ian Abrahams, or “The Moose” as he is better known, stating he ‘understood’ Diagouraga would be a Rangers player over the weekend.

Well here we are on Wednesday and absolutely none of this has happened; indeed, the word from St Johnstone’s chairman bodes far from well over the prospects of it:

“At the moment he’s a St Johnstone player, he trained today (Tuesday) and he’s preparing for Saturday for the game against Celtic. At the end of the day we’ve not actively put Michael on the market, we’ve always said he’s not for sale. If any offers come in we’ll consider it and if it’s not at a level that’s acceptable to us then we won’t accept it. We’d like to keep him but that really depends on if we get further bids.”

Miles off the ‘done deal’ many have claimed.

So, what is the hold up (re: Diagouraga too)? Well, and this is obviously conjecture (not unlike what the tabloids have thrown up), but Rangers’ manager Mark Warburton has always preached value. That a player has to add value, and that the sum paid out for him has to be worth what he can bring into the team that it does not have already.

The initial bids for both players were around £200,000 each. Vaguely the ballpark amount paid for Rob Kiernan, James Tavernier and Martyn Waghorn. Tav and Waggy have repaid that and then some; to say they have delivered value for the Blue Pound is an understatement without comparison. Kiernan has not quite been Sir Davie of Weir but he has nevertheless been value for his fee.

This is Warburton’s borderline Raison D’être – to pay at a level suiting Rangers’ finances and what the player can bring.

There is no denying £1M does not suit Rangers’ finances, nor would either player give Rangers what they do not already have. Diagouraga, at a pinch, would, but given the side’s recent astounding form, anyone coming in now is to supplement an on-fire squad, rather than filling in critical gaps.

Managers sign players they need, and Warbs goes further by paying only what is deemed suitable – is it possible he simply cannot justify spending £500,000 each on these guys when he secured his summer business for barely £100K more than that in total?

O’Halloran, fine forward though he is, would not add anything Rangers do not already have. There are a glut of goals in this team, there is forward play and attacking nous coming out every orifice – for £200,000 Hal would have been value, but one suspects Warbs does not believe spending more is wise.

Diagouraga’s unprofessionalism during his most recent (final?) display for Brentford (at home to Burnley) was stark – he stood out like a sore thumb for how much he did not appear to want to be there, and if he can do that there, could he do it at Ibrox?

Plus while Rangers badly need a defensive midfielder (and Diagouraga in the mood is a decent one), they are also doing just fine without one, and it makes little business sense to spend over the odds.

These sagas have rumbled on excessively. Mark Warburton will not be held to ransom on prices. Both players would be nice to have, and if we do get them, it will surely be on our terms and no one else’s. Both would enhance the team, of course, but time will tell if the Magic Hat wants the players enough to break his own rules about value.

Whatever he does, we trust him entirely.


  1. Sorry don't agree this time where's the financial input from King that was promised? Loans and signing from 2nd and 3rd teir English leagues may be good enough for championship but we are still a good bit behind challenging over a season in the spl and I'm not just talking about the unwashed!!!!

    • Agree 100% – guys in there at the minute are doing a good job and I believe will go on to win the league comfortably but there is still a big step up to the top flight and then a big step within the top flight so these two players are musts and now if the club is looking at beginning the building project for next season. Make no mistake, half the current team would not cut it in the top flight unless avoiding relegation is the main goal.

    • So how much money have Hearts spent on their return? Likewise Aberdeen who at this moment are only 6 points behind Celtic. This so called "big jump" to the Premiership doesn't exist. Hearts have proven that as they will comfortably finish 3rd or even sneak 2nd in their first season back.
      To win the title I agree investment is needed, but with Warburton's eye for a player it should be minimal. Maybe £2-£4 Million maximum. Any money from player sales will be reinvested in player recruitment whilst King and other investors make up for any shortfalls in revenue for the running of the club, as they have been doing. That is where King's money is going!

  2. See the bottom line is rangers have no money,that's why they went 4 mark warburton as a manager,he builds teams with little money,I don't think we will get these players,av seen this happen many times,linked with players and it winding on the whole transfer

  3. I would suggest that any transfer money will be coming from an invester as opposed to the club having the available funds.It maybe the case that the club is waiting for funds to be made available to them to go ahead with further bids.

  4. "they are also doing just fine without one"

    Aye, in a sub-par league. We will need him when we go up. That's the point. We don't want to settle on what we have. We need to improve.

  5. We need a dm, we havn't got a single one and when we're p'aying teams with a fast couter attack all it takes is being caught out once

  6. What's the problem accepting that £500,00 from the fans to pay for a player ? Does king have any money or do any of the board have any ; the answer is yes they do but they certainly aren't releasing it to Rangers ! Well not for players! What's the problem asking the fans for cash for players? No point asking King or Ashley, as they seem to be the same as each other!!!

  7. It's Scott Allan all over again.

    Don't be surprised that either Brentford or St J make public the details of our offers.

    £150k spread over a couple of years, and that headline figure includes £50k for Champions League participation……..oh and let's not forget the usual Embassy coupons add ons.

    The club is using it's placemen in the press to put pressure on the club's to sell but both have put valuations on the players that we are nowhere near.

    For Warburton to claim that we won't be held to ransom is just ridiculous. He knows what he has to spend, he knows we can't afford the asking prices.

    Level 5 and Jackson are trying to make the selling club's look unreasonable………it's not working.

    If someone comes in with low ball offers for Waghorn or Tav will we just roll over……..no, why should we expect someone else to.

    Champions League add ons. ……..how many years away is that?

    Are the AS signings the level we require to compete at this level, bearing in mind we will be starting with hee haw coefficient and will be part of the preliminary rounds minnows!

  8. Why not that foreign young player that was here a month ago , for a striker? He's almost out of contract plus he wants to play for Rangers & he's been here on trail which was a success as he scored a 3 goals…. He was pleased to be here & positive vibes from Rangers about him …. Is he maybe too good for Rangers & would show up Waghorn etc ?? We're getting him cheap & before he joins someone else….Rangers move your assess,we won't Premiership promotion plus the possibility of winning there once again!!!! Ashley only wants to line his own pocket is this the case for the ' new ' board???

    • Been saying this for ages. The boy is hot property. Everton were looking at him aswell. Hes got his heart set on coming here but Warbs doesnt want him. The only possible reason i can think of is that hes a tall lad and warburton doesnt want his players tempted to hoof the ball up to him or put in high crosses. Hes exactly what we need and would add a demension to the squad we dont have which is something warbs keeps banging on about. If we go up this season then tiny wee players trting to walk the ball into the net isnt going to wash with big tall spl defenders. Our short corners are bollocks aswell and come to nothing so at least the lad would provide a different option. If we continue you build a squad of wee quick players the big lads in the spl are going to batter us stupid

  9. Reports (from Talksport i think) yesterday were claiming that we are walking away from both deals. The reason being that Brentford are demanding 1M due to having a similar offer from elsewhere and St Johnstone have stated they won't accept anything less than 500k. Both valuations are more than our club believe the players are worth. If this is true, then we are right to walk away. The days of paying over the odds for players are thankfully long gone. We must continue to work with in our budgets. Maybe we could offer Accrington a deal to take Windass and Crooks now??

  10. Mayb warbs is thinking windass cud play wer ohalleran wud n crooks plays wer diagouraga wud so mayb the best option wud b to pay £200k-£300k to get them now cos they'll cost bout £30k each in the summer which means we ll save a lot of money for the same types of player.so he wud b gettin the AS pair for basically £140k -£240k cos we wud have to pay £60k in the summer anyway instead of paying a £1m for the other 2 plus they'll b on more money than the AS guys n that'll bed them in for next season so between now n June £1m pound plus saving. N if we cud get osman sow for £200k-£300k cos his contracts up in the summer yur looking at gettin 3 players on the positions we need for the price of one. Value for money!

  11. Aye whatever Tam (the bam) Burns. Go and comment on your own teams blogs. Never a teddy bear with those comments. FUD

    • Yeah better not to do any thinking as the truth it may reveal may break your wee blue heart. Head in sand is def the way forward.

  12. Not interested in the St Johnston player not the type of player rangers need after 6 months.. The boy from Brentford is on a free at the end of the season would wait and take him as the team we have right no should walk the leauge. If we spend any money should he to bring winddass and crooks would be better deal patch ohalloran boys a taig anyways

    • You my good man, are a hole of the arse. Its bangers like you that ruin the name of both Rangers and Celtic. Its no wonder the English dont want us down there.

  13. Who gave the story to Jackson that the guts of £1m would see 2 players on board this week?

    Level 5, via King or Murray?

    If so I don't see any point in putting the story out unless the deals will be done which I expect in the next couple of days.

    I'm not sure who is actually handling the negotiations, though appears to be Murray/King, but if one of these club's makes public one of our offers, a third of which contains an add on for Champions League participation, we will look like clowns.

  14. The blog would take a step forward if the moderator binned some of the posts in this thread.

    Poor spelling is bad enough but being unable to complete a sentence with joined up words that make sense is a too much to take………..are you Derek Johnstone?

  15. Everyone needs to pull there head out of there ass when it comes to crooks and windass these boys could be superstars or could be duds we dont know yet until there here but i for one am glad he took a punt on 2 highly rated players from english lower leagues so many quality players have signed from english lower leagues or non league sides and became household names in the epl vardy hart etc..
    Quality down there is much better than the likes of scowering through the spl for duds like ian black cammy bell jon daily etc… Its well known these arent the type of players want/need as for hal well why he stuck with st j and not flying high at a better club who else is interstered no1 where as plenty where interested in windass including being watched from plenty of epl sides why pay over the odds for cunts that have already proven they cant cut it at the top of the spl as for the mhanky mobs great business in signing an unknown cunt from fc midtjylland a team probs about alloas standard and the mighty stephen fletcher a cunt thats scored 3 goals all season sounds real quality idiots and this massive gap between the spl and championship os non existant the unwashed are no where near as far ahead as you all seem to think they are every game that hearts have played them hearts where the better side and probs should of won so where is this huge gap hearts signed juanma and 1 other player to bridge that monumental jump in class all the doubters will be silenced soon enough and i would rather spend 1 mill on 5-6 players to find a gem rather than spend 1 million on potentially 2 duds from spl
    You all hit out with shit at the start of the season about mw's squad and got silenced maybe its time you so called fans get behind your team and manager to get this great club back to where it belongs

    And to all you dhimms out there if you werent worried about us you wouldnt be bothered on commenting about the mighty gers

    Fear the city is rank with it

  16. What happens if we don't go up !
    nobody has mentioned this despite
    these AS players thinking they will
    be playing in top division. Also ,we
    could shell out a million for 2 players
    to play in the championship next year.
    Just think about it 4 a minute.It could
    happen. What then? Worry about smelltic
    when we get there.

  17. Anon 19.03….the Danish team won their league last year. It's on a par with the SPFL.

    As for Alloa did they not overcome a 2 goal deficit to turn us over a couple of years ago.

    Is there any mod activity on this board to prevent posts with no basis in fact?

  18. Can anyone tell me the most smelltic have ever paid for a player. Why u may ask?
    Well they come on here lecturing us about all things rangers,despite having to get the unwashed to collect bottles & watch cars
    to fund their marquee signings !

  19. I think Diagoruga has gone to Leeds.

    Apparently they met the fee wanted by Brentford……and there were no add ons for last 16 �� qualification, surprise, surprise.

    Let's hope the 2 guys from AS are true Galacticos……..if we can negotiate fees to bring them in now, I'm not holding my breath in that one.

    And a big well done to Level 5 for planting the story with Jacko, made him look a complete Diddy. …..but you have to admit he plays the part like a professional.

    Whose going to be in the frame next week as the window begins to close……..how many more peanuts offers can we get in?

    How many more times can Jackson get it wrong?

    What buffoon thought up the add on for the last 16 �� qualification. He should be locked up in a padded cell and the key thrown away…..surely it wasn't Warbs, more like a King move.

  20. O'Halloran deal is dead in the water…… £150k in instalments, includes a £50k add on for Champions League Last 16 participation.
    No wonder Tommy Wright is claiming the offer was peanuts.

    Anybody see a similarity to the Scott Allan deal………just as well tge Tims ain't interested, deal would be done and dusted.

    Using Level 5 and the media to put pressure on the selling teams has backfired spectacularly, left us looking like penniless d*cks

  21. Anon 11.17

    Warbs can't get them all right.

    We won't be held to ransom by Diddy teams looking for over the odds.

    Personally I think Champions League Last 16 will be a regular feature under Warbs in the next 10 years and I wouldn't be surprised if we reached at least one final.

    Forget Diagoruga and O'Halloran. Crooks and Windass with their pedigree will run amok in the Championship then the SPFL.

    In King and Warbs we trust.


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