Damian Garcia to Rangers transfer swirls escalate as feud with boss takes a new twist

Damian Garcia has seen his "desire" questioned by Penarol boss Diego Aguirre after failing to sign a new deal amid links with Rangers.

The midfielder is currently in the midst of a contract dispute with the Uruguayan club after the 20-year-old established himself as a key member of the first-team side this season, making 17 appearances so far this term. The Scottish Premiership side have kept an eye on the South American market this summer with Philippe Clement already bringing in Fluminense wing-back Jefte while Godoy Cruz's Chilean defender Thomas Galdames is on the Ibrox radar.

Garcia is approaching the final six months of his contract - and talks over a new deal have stalled with the player's agent Edgardo Lasalvia recently stating that Garcia's weekly wage barely covers his rent as tensions escalate with Penarol. The representative has claimed the star was offered just "two pesos" by vice president Eduardo Zaidensztat to extend his contract.

The Uruguayan talent netted his first goal for the table-topping Primera Division side against struggling Fénix - but boss Aguirre wasn't full of praise when talking about transfers. The boss insisted there would not be a mass exodus from the club - despite a number of stars coming for the end of the deals in December.

He told Uruguayan outlet Fenfield: “The squad is going to be this, with some modifications. I am very happy with them, they are the ones who have achieved all this. Some players may come, but the most important ones are those who are here."

Pressed specifically on Garcia amid public statements from the player's agent, he said: “Players of his stature are always important, but he must have the desire to stay. That can be decisive."