THE football world has never been smaller. Sometimes, though, there is a danger that if you look too far on the horizon you miss what it is right in front of you closer to home.

Technology has made it easier than ever for managers to scout opposition teams or potential signing targets. Data drives the modern game in terms of analytics and assessment and deals are done at the click of a button after meetings that are now camera to camera rather than face to face.

You want to pluck an unknown striker out of Scandinavia or unearth a promising midfielder in the Far East? No problem. Set your metrics, hit search and then watch the good, the bad and the ugly online before you even have to buy a plane ticket to go and cast your eye over him in person.

But what about the ones you have seen already? The players that have been monitored and tracked through every youth level, that have played against you countless times and that have grown up and been moulded in the unique environment of Scottish football?

It was a point that was made to Michael Beale a couple of weeks ago. As Kevin Nisbet prepares to make the move from Hibernian to Millwall, it is one that is pertinent again for Rangers and that cannot be dismissed at Celtic either.

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Ultimately, every manager wants the best players on the pitch. Regardless of nationality or backstory, if a signing helps the team be successful then that is all supporters will care about and silverware is what will keep Beale and Ange Postecoglou in a job.

It is important to have a Scottish core in the side, though, and successful Old Firm teams have always had those who know the club or the game here within their ranks. Beale made that admission as he discussed the possibility of signing Premiership players a couple of weeks ago and it is an issue that Rangers will have to consider in terms of their European quotas as the Englishman shapes the squad during the summer.

There was little clamour for Rangers to make moves for the likes of Aaron Hickey, Josh Doig or Lewis Ferguson before they swapped Scotland for Serie A. Similarly, few fans will raise an eyebrow when Nisbet completes a £2.5million move to the Championship.

In time, questions may well be asked, however. Hickey, now with Brentford after a £14million summer switch, and Doig and Ferguson - impressive performers and bargain buys for Hellas Verona and Bologna respectively - are outwith Rangers' reach as they attract interest from the continent.

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Beale lamented the 'glass half-empty' mentality of some on these shores as he talked up that trio and Nathan Patterson and pointed to the difficulties that players could have in moving from a Premiership club to Ibrox. The example of Ryan Jack - still a target for abuse from Aberdeen supporters all these years on - is a case in point.

"We have lots of rivalries in Scotland, not just the big one here in Glasgow," Beale said. "There are a lot of rivalries so for players to move from some clubs to other clubs in Scotland… it’s more feisty than elsewhere, we all know that.

"There’s a little bit of spite in the water if you like. But we’ve got good players in this country."

Beale dismissed the notion that club to club animosities would get in the way of a deal being done. It comes down to the player that has to live it and whether they have the mentality to overcome the flak from their former supporters and handle the weight of expectation from the Ibrox crowd.

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On the field, match minutes has to be the main consideration. At the time that Hickey, Doig and Ferguson moved, Rangers were well covered in their respective positions and their availability just didn't tick the right place and right time boxes for either party.

"If I was to meet another young player at a club in Scotland," Beale continued, "the first question they want to ask is ‘am I going to play in your team?’ We have a particularly strong team. Sometimes that’s a reason why a player doesn’t sign."

The strength of the team will depend on the deals done in what is left of this transfer window and, more significantly, the summer market as Beale transforms the squad he has inherited from Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Rangers have to compete on the continent but they can still shop locally, like they did to sign John Souttar from Hearts on a pre-contract 12 months ago or Glen Kamara during Beale's previous stint at Ibrox.

Successful sides of the past have have Scottish talent running through them and Rangers should be an attractive proposition for the best our clubs can produce and recruit. The success that Celtic enjoyed with the likes of Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Christie in the past and have done with David Turnbull more recently shows that there is merit in the method.

The case of Nisbet is an interesting one. At 25, he has the right profile - a proven track record, a player that can be developed and sold - for Rangers and he plays in a position that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later. Given the outlay that Millwall will make, it is a surprise that Rangers didn't enter the running for Nisbet's signature.

The doubts continue over the long-term future of Alfredo Morelos and questions remain regarding Antonio Colak and Kemar Roofe. Rangers will need a striker but the nature of the moving pieces perhaps counted Nisbet out of the equation right now and it is the Lions who have now met the price that Hibernian demanded for the man that followed a hat-trick against Motherwell with a brace in the draw at home to Dundee United.

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In time, it may prove to be something that Rangers live to regret or a case of a shrewd call being made. That is the case in all deals, regardless of what direction the data points in, what the scouting reports say or how the conversations between manager and player unfold before pen is put to paper.

When it comes to signing the top Scots, the Old Firm only get one crack at it. As soon as England or abroad calls and potential is fulfilled elsewhere, the figures just don't stack up and the opportunity has been missed.

Time will tell if Nisbet, or Watford-bound Ryan Porteous, prove to be the next tartan talents to make their names and live their dreams elsewhere and if the Glasgow giants are left to wonder what might have been at one stage.

Beale will always think bigger and better and look far and wide but he won't discount what is close to home. Neither he nor Rangers can afford to, after all.