Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall has spoken out on reported transfer talks with young Rangers centre-back Lewis Mayo.

The Jags signed Zak Rudden on a permanent contract earlier this week and the Daily Record had suggested they were also in discussions with Mayo over a loan deal until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old defender featured for the Gers during pre-season, scoring against Oxford United at Ibrox, but is yet to make a competitive first-team appearance.

Young Rangers defender Mayo came close to a Partick Thistle loan move. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Speaking at Firhill on Thursday afternoon, McCall expressed his admiration for the youngster and admitted initial talks had taken place, before asserting that the deal was now off the table.

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“There was [transfer discussions] and he is a fine young player,” he said.

“But that was in December and that’s now dead in the water because of the situation with the other centre-back who got injured.”

That other centre-back is, of course, Filip Helander, who remains in a protective boot after sustaining a foot injury in the League Cup final early last month.

Helander is expected to be sidelined for at least another month. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s clear that the Gers were initially prepared to let Mayo head off to gain senior experience, but that he will now likely remain at Ibrox to provide cover for the first team.

It’s a blow for the teenager, who was no doubt itching to go out and cut his teeth in the Championship.

However, with Connor Goldson likely to be rested for tonight’s Scottish Cup clash against Stranraer, he could land himself a place on the bench for the Ibrox tie.

Meanwhile, McCall also confirmed there are a number of clauses in Zak Rudden’s contract, giving Rangers some say in the forward’s future.

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