McCoist keen to keep Bartley

Former England U17 international could return to the Emirates

Kyle Bartley: Arsenal may be recalled to the Emirates despite thriving at Rangers

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Rangers boss Ally McCoist has played down speculation linking Kyle Bartley with a return to his parent club Arsenal.

The 20-year-old defender joined the Scottish Premier League outfit in August on a season-long loan and has been hugely impressive at Ibrox.

However, there had been fears Arsene Wenger would recall the former England Under 17 international to provide cover as he currently has several key defenders sidelined.

Staying

McCoist, though, is desperate to keep hold of the stopper, despite him picking up a knock on his ankle in the 4-0 win over Arbroath on Sunday.

"I have been told nothing about Arsenal wanting the big man back and I obviously wouldn't welcome it if they did," he told the Daily Record.

"I realise they have some defensive problems but as far as I'm aware he's signed on loan for the season and that's where he'll be staying. I really wouldn't want to lose him, that's for sure."

Bartley was substituted in the second half as a precautionary measure and McCoist hopes to have him fit for the trip to St Johnstone on Saturday.

"He's in there with an ice pack on his ankle at the minute but I think he's okay. He said he got a fright because his ankle twisted but it did feel a little better when the physio went on," he added.

"But I didn't want to take any chances with him and I'm hoping he'll be fit for our next game at St Johnstone."