The latest news on the Rangers 5 suggests that the Newcastle loan players are the strangest deal ever.

The Glasgow club face Falkirk in the Scottish Championship tonight and yet again only Haris Vuckic will be available out of the five Newcastle loan players.

Rangers caretaker boss Kenny McDowall has given the following update ahead of the Friday night Falkirk clash:

“Kevin Mbabu has trained with the squad this week and we’re hopeful we’ll get him in the reserves next week.

“Remie Streete has been doing some rehab as well, but he’s still a couple of weeks away. Wee Biggy Gael (Bigirimana) is still maybe two weeks away. So it is only Haris Vuckic that’s fit.”

Long-term injury:

“Shane Ferguson is still down south, he is a longer-term one. He is maybe five or so weeks away, although I don’t know where that one’s at. He’ has never been to the club as he’s got a long-term injury. I think he took a setback this week so it’s even longer now.

“Haris has been a good addition though, and the boys have taken well to him, though the biggest thing for me is the contribution he’s been making on the pitch.”

Two major elements in this.

Firstly, when you are desperate for new additions to play straight away, why would you take players on loan who were injured? Even on the day that the loan deals were announced, Ferguson and Mbabu weren’t even part of it, still on Tyneside rather than posing in a Rangers kit with the other three.

Secondly, we are all still wondering who is paying the wages of the five players? One theory put forward when they signed, was that it was a cynical move by Mike Ashley to burn through the money he’d loaned (via Sports Direct) to Rangers as fast as possible, to make them as dependent on him as possible before rival shareholders had time to force a crucial meeting to vote Ashley’s allies off the board.

Whatever the truth of it, if Mike Ashley wasn’t involved with both clubs, then surely more scrutiny would have been paid as to why penniless Rangers were taking on loan players who were long-term injured.