Rangers are confident of extending their loan deal for Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem. The 18-year-old joined Mark Warburton's outfit on an initial six-month loan deal in August, having previously made just two senior appearances for the Gunners' first team.
The German-born starlet immediately took to life in the Scottish Championship, making 11 appearances in all competitions so far and impressing the new man in charge at Ibrox. The Herald claimed Warburton has already held "encouraging discussions" with Liam Brady, Arsenal's former head of youth development who now holds an ambassadorial role with the club, over the move. The Rangers boss now says it is now just up to Zelalem himself to have the final say on the matter.
"He is speaking to his family and, hopefully, we are close to securing him," Warburton was quoted as saying by the same publication. "Liam has been up. He left his role as Arsenal director and now has an important role in charge of the loan players.
"He was up for the Hibs game and I speak to him on the phone regularly. Our job is to make sure we have an environment here which is conducive to his development.
"The current deal is until January, but, as long as everyone is happy, we will extend that. I have been delighted with his contribution and the last game he played for Rangers was his best so far. We have a great relationship with Arsenal and our job is to make sure they know their asset is being developed properly."
Zelalem has already become a regular for the US youth team team after receiving international clearance in May 2015 that allowed him to play at the Under-20 World Cup. The midfielder was born in Germany to Ethiopian parents and lived in Maryland before joining Arsenal's youth academy when he was 16.