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Rangers target Accrington Stanley's star duo

Stanley could lose star players Josh Windass and Matt Crooks to Rangers

Matt Crooks celebrates a goal with Josh Windass against Hull

Stanley could lose star players Josh Windass and Matt Crooks after it was confirmed Scottish side Rangers have opened talks to sign the pair.

As reported in the Observer in December, Rangers have been showing an interest in the two men and were set to make a move this month.

The pair are free to talk terms with other clubs as their Stanley contracts run out in the summer.

It means that Stanley will only be handed a small compensation as appose to a transfer fee, much to the fury of Stanley’s majority shareholder Andy Holt.

“I have been informed that Rangers are talking to Josh and Matt about a move at the end of the season,” he tweeted.

“This is unsolicited and is being done under FIFA international regulations that I totally disagree with.

“We want to invest in players, so why should a Scottish club get the

benefit of this for free?

“The same applies the other way. English clubs shouldn’t be able to raid Scottish clubs on the cheap. I’m not against Rangers or any other club, but the rules in football regarding this are wrong in my opinion.

“The dealings are very private. In fact so private that Rangers haven’t

spoken to John Coleman or me yet.”

Windass and Crooks have both been in fine form this campaign, playing massive roles in Stanley’s promotion push.

Windass, 21, has made 25 appearances for the Reds this season, and is the club’s top scorer after netting 11 goals in all competitions.

He is the son of former Premier League striker Dean Windass and joined Accrington back in 2013 from non-league side Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Crooks has also been prolific over the past few months, with seven goals in the league and cup from his 24 appearances. He began his professional career at Huddersfield Town, before joining Stanley in a permanent deal last year.

There was some good news for the club after Liam Wakefield extended his contract until the end of the season.

He joins Brad Halliday and Joe Wright in signing new deals, and the defender has been enjoying his time at the Wham Stadium.

“I have loved it so far. There is a great set of lads here and they have made me feel welcome and a part of the team,” he told the club’s official website.

“The team have been playing really well and there are a lot of characters which makes for a good changing room.”