Rangers begin contract talks with Thomas Bendiksen

Rangers midfielder Thomas Bendiksen

Bendiksen (right) made his second first-team appearance against Hibs

Rangers have started talks designed to extend the contract of Norwegian midfielder Thomas Bendiksen.

The 22-year-old has made a long-awaited breakthrough to play in Rangers' last two games.

And Rangers manager Ally McCoist told his club website: "I've spoken to his agent myself on a couple of occasions.

"He is very keen for Thomas to stay, we're keen for Thomas to stay, hopefully Thomas is keen to stay too. Negotiations have already started."

Norway youth international Bendiksen signed for Rangers from Harstad on a three-year contract in August 2007 for a reported £90,000.

But a knee injury ruled him out of the 2009-09 season and, after further injury problems, he was given a six-month deal in July to prove his fitness.

We've always known about Thomas's talent. I'm delighted the lad's now fit and he's got an opportunity to express himself

Ally McCoist Rangers manager

Bendiksen made his first competitive appearance when he started in this month's 2-1 victory over Dunfermline Athletic.

He then made an instant impact in the move that led to Rangers' second goal after coming on as a substitute in Saturday's 2-0 win over Hibernian.

"Hopefully we can get him on a long-term contract," said McCoist.

"We've always known about Thomas's talent. This isn't a surprise to us.

"I'm delighted the lad's now fit and he's got an opportunity to express himself.

"We're just pleased he's back in the swing of things after the best part of two years of injuries. Hopefully that's all behind him."

McCoist previously indicated that talks are imminent with midfielder Maurice Edu and striker Kyle Lafferty.