Rangers want Francisco Sandaza

Rangers close in on Sandaza as McCoist looks to replace England-bound Jelavic

Francisco Sandaza is poised to join Rangers — if Nikica Jelavic completes his widely-touted move to the Barclays Premier League during next month’s transfer window.

Sandaza scored twice in St Johnstone’s 2-0 win over Kilmarnock on Wednesday night, taking his tally to 12 goals from only 16 starts in all competitions this season.

Now Sportsmail understands the 27-year-old former Dundee United striker has done enough to convince Ibrox boss Ally McCoist he has what it takes to make the step up to the Old Firm. It is thought the Spaniard is aware of Rangers’ interest in him.

Wanted: Francisco Sandaza is a target for SPL champions Rangers

Wanted: Francisco Sandaza is a target for SPL champions Rangers

Celtic and Bristol City, now managed by former Saints supremo Derek McInnes, have also been linked with possible January swoops, but McCoist appears determined to get his man.

With Liverpool, Everton, Sunderland, West Brom and Queens Park Rangers all credited with an interest in Jelavic, it increasingly seems a matter of when, rather than if, the Croatian departs for England’s top flight.

It is understood Rangers’ initial asking price is 10million, although they might have to compromise significantly if a deal is to be struck.

However, the SPL champions would have to spend only a fraction of any fee to land Sandaza.

In demand: Nikica Jelavic is expected to move to the Premier League

In demand: Nikica Jelavic is expected to move to the Premier League

With just five months remaining on his deal at McDiarmid Park — and transfer funds at Ibrox tight — the former Valencia B team striker could represent good value for McCoist.

Sandaza proved a hit during his two years with Dundee United, scoring 10 goals during his debut season of 2008-09.

However, his second year on Tayside was injury-hit. After scoring once in eight games, he left for Brighton, where he managed just four goals in 19 appearances for the League One champions.

Sandaza returned to Scotland this summer and has proved an instant hit with Saints, scoring nine times to lie joint-fourth in SPL goals chart.