MARVIN ANDREWS is on the verge of earning himself a contract extension at Rangers.

The big 29-year-old Trinidadian arrived on a Bosman free transfer from Livingston last summer and has since become a firm fans' favourite.

Andrews initially penned a two-year deal at Rangers but a further third year was written into the contract if he played a set amount of games.

That figure is believed to be 30 matches and Andrews solid performance in the 3-0 win over Hibs on Saturday was his 27th start of the season.

Now, the defender is set to earn himself a further year which would tie him to Ibrox until 2007 and bring a salary increase.

Andrews came into the team at the beginning of September and McLeish has admitted he has exceeded expectations.

His only major blip came in last month's Scottish Cup defeat to Celtic when he was culpable at both goals in Gers' 2-1 Parkhead defeat.

However, Andrews has been working extremely hard in sessions with McLeish at Murray Park in a bid to improve his game and will return this Sunday to partner Sotirios Kyrgiakos against Martin O'Neill's side in the SPL title cruncher.

Andrew's partner on the last visit to Parkhead was Zura Khizanishvili, and the young Georgian has been dropped from McLeish's side since, missing the last five games.

However, the 23-year-old is also being offered an extension to his current contract, which expires in 18 months.

Rangers are hopeful Khizanishvili will extend his stay as McLeish attempts to secure the young nucleus of his squad.

One man who will be charged with rearing the Gers stars of tomorrow is Ibrox legend Ian Durrant.

The 37-year-old former midfielder is set to be appointed as a new youth coach at Murray Park after Rangers asked his current employers Kilmarnock for permission to speak to him.

Durrant has been earmarked by McLeish to work with the under-17's and 19's alongside another former Rangers midfielder Davie Kirkwood.

John Brown will remain in charge of the under-21's in a revamp of the coaching system, after the departure of Malky Thompson to Inverness Caley Thistle.

Rangers are believed to be tracking 21-year-old Hungarian left back Huszti Szabolcs.

The Ferencvaros star is out of contract in the summer and is seen as a possible long term solution to the left back problem at Ibrox.

Szabolcs said: "I have heard there is some interest from Rangers. My objective is to play in the UK and Rangers would be a good option."