Warburton wants wonderkid targeted by Chelsea to stay

Mark Warburton wants the kid to stay. Credit: PA

Mark Warburton has told Rangers wonderkid Billy Gilmour that Ibrox is the place to be if he wants to realise his footballing dreams.

The 15-year-old playmaker has been linked with a move to Chelsea, with reports claiming he was shown round the London club's training ground last week.

A string of other major European clubs, including Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, have also been keeping tabs on the talented youngster after his staring role for Scotland Under-16s during last month's Victory Shield.

They could sign the schoolboy, who made his debut for Gers' under-20s side earlier this month, for as little as £100,000 when he turns 16 in June.

But Light Blues boss Warburton has not given up hope of convincing the teenager to stay put.

Warburton said: "Billy Gilmour is a Rangers player and I hope very much that he sees a pathway here and works his way through to our first team. Whatever happens from there happens.

"It's fully understandable that clubs will be interested. He's a very talented player and every Premier League club will have scouts watching. They are aware of all the best players in every country round the world.

"It's difficult for clubs like Rangers to keep hold of their best youngsters when you consider the financial disparity that exists.

"All you can do as a club is be honest. Are we going to outbid certain clubs? No, it's not going to happen.

"But can we offer them a pathway in a superb environment and a fantastic following? Yes we can.

"It may be for many of these young players - and not just Billy - that they are best served by staying at their home club, developing into the first team and once you have 40-50 appearances under your belt, then you move.

"Liam Burt - who came on against Hearts at the weekend - shows that if you do well, you will get your chance.

"I saw Billy play for our under-20s last weekend. As a 15-year-old up against four or five Dundee first-teamers, he was excellent. But he's 15 and he needs to be looked after properly and taken through his development stages. Hopefully we can realise that here at Rangers in out first team."