Rangers are going to have a very interesting summer if their extensive list of potential transfer targets is anything to go by.
Mark Warburton has already moved to strengthen his squad ahead of next season, with Josh Windass, Matt Crooks, Jordan Rossiter and Joey Barton all signing up.
You’d expect the Ibrox boss to continue adding to his team before the start of the Scottish Premiership campaign.
But it’s very rarely clear which players managers will target in doing that.
Not that there’s a shortage of names mentioned with a move to the Glasgow giants.
Here, we run through every Rangers transfer rumour and rank them in order of how possible they are:
You’d have to think Toure’s high wages would mean he’s very unlikely to sign on at Rangers. But multiple reports that Mark Warburton isn’t interested in the out-of-contract defender just adds to that thought. At 35, Toure wouldn’t be a long term option at Ibrox either so all of this contributes to him being an impossible signing for the club.
There are no concrete reports of Rangers’ interest in Agbonlahor, but he’s just one of many names being discussed by the Rangers faithful online today. The Aston Villa striker was suspended by the club at the end of the season and we’d be shocked if he has a future at the relegated Premier League outfit. But we also highly doubt that he’ll end up at Ibrox. Like Toure, Agbonlahor’s £55,000 per week wage won’t be matched at Rangers and, at 29, he’d no doubt feel he can still perform for a top-flight English club. Added to all of that, Agbonlahor’s recent off-field indiscretions probably won’t endear him to Warburton or the Rangers supporters.
Alvarado is one of the more recent names to be linked with Rangers. The Costa Rican goalkeeper plays with Turkish outfit Trabzonspor, but was back-up for much of last season and could be looking for more regular action elsewhere. Signing a goalkeeper makes sense because Wes Foderingham is the club’s number one and back-up Cammy Bell may look to exit this summer. But Alvarado has never been near the UK and would no doubt want guaranteed first team football if he was to leave Turkey. This signing looks more and more impossible given the random nature of the transfer story. We can imagine Warburton will look closer to home for back-up to Foderingham.
Rangers fans definitely want Khalid Aucho – but that’s based on him being the random international player they want to back rather than a guaranteed star signing. Truth is, nobody knows much about Aucho as he currently plys his trade in Kenya for Gor Mahia. The 22-year-old Ugandan defender has been compared to compatriot Victor Wanyama, who was a big hit at Celtic before moving on to Southampton. But Wanyama already had European experience – something Aucho doesn’t have. Added to that, he’s another midfield player and Rangers have a few of those already, especially with the four signings they’ve made this summer. That’s why Aucho makes the less possible list.
Stewart will be an intriguing potential transfer target given his strong form for Dundee over recent seasons. He got 15 goals in the 2014/15 season, 11 in the one just passed and earned PFA Player of the Year nominations both times. The attacker is undoubtedly Dundee’s star player and will be interesting clubs in England regardless of Rangers targeting him or not. But the downside to signing Stewart is money. He’s going into the final year of his contract at Dens Park, but Paul Hartley will still be after a decent fee if the club had to sell early. Will Warburton be looking to spend over £500,000 on Stewart when he may be cheaper in six months or a year from now? We doubt it. Also, Stewart plays in a very similar way to Martyn Waghorn so where does he fit into the Rangers team? That’s another thing we’re not so sure about. So mark this one down as less possible.
If Rangers are to rival Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title next season then international quality defenders will certainly help doing that. Tibi has 20 Israel caps to his name and even has Champions League experience with Maccabi Tel-Aviv so you’d imagine a player like that would interest Warburton. It’s unclear what Tibi’s contract situation is though and whether or not he’d be free to add to the squad or would cost a fee. For that reason, he goes under the less possible list.
There was a point two weeks ago when Kranjcar to Rangers looked nailed on. The Croatian appeared eager to move back to the UK after a short stint at New York Cosmos and there were even reports that Warburton had flown out to the Big Apple to meet with the player. But mention of an injury to Kranjcar has cooled talk of a switch along with the story that his actress girlfriend may not be keen on the move. It’s still early though, and it appears that the interest from Ibrox is legitimately there. Added to that, Kranjcar can give some genuine attacking midfield quality if he were to turn up in Glasgow and the Gers boss must recognise that’s something he needs. Considering Kranjcar’s experience and cost, he’s one we can definitely see signing for Rangers – provided his injury clears.
Nelson is another who has only recently been mentioned for a move north. He’s been a mainstay for Plymouth this season, helping Derek Adams’ men all the way to Wembley before their play-off final defeat to AFC Wimbledon. Powerful and pacy, Nelson is exactly what Warburton will be looking for at centre back considering how much Rob Kiernan and Danny Wilson lack in those attributes. He’s out of contract and would certainly fit into Warburton’s recruitment policy. What may make Nelson a doubt is the player fancying a crack at a higher level in England first before considering a switch to Rangers. Mark it down as possible.
Given the talk surrounding Taylor this week, Rangers appear in pole position to get his signature. He was released by Newcastle just last week and the Ibrox club have been linked ever since – with Celtic also getting a mention. And, at 30 and at this stage of his career, a move north could be perfect for Taylor. It looks unlikely that he could get one to another Premier League team and may see the challenge of winning trophies for Rangers as more appealing than a promotion challenge in the English Championship. His wages could be a stumbling block, but he’s no Kolo Toure or Gabby Agbonlahor. He would be affordable. Rangers need quality in central defence and Taylor, despite some criticisms at St James’ Park, has plenty of it.
Comparing McGovern to Alvarado, the former looks more likely to sign on at Ibrox than the latter because of his squad status. The Northern Ireland goalkeeper is currently Hamilton’s number one, but we’re almost certain he’d swap that for a switch to Rangers. And even if he was to be back-up to Foderingham, we reckon McGovern is the type of character to cope well with that. For Warburton it makes sense because McGovern is a quality stopper, has Scottish experience, knows the Glasgow scene and has also broken into the Northern Ireland international set-up over recent years. And he wouldn’t cost either. This move would make a lot of sense for a lot of people!
Hibs fans may disagree, but Cummings to Rangers has so much going for it. For Warburton and the Ibrox club, they’d be signing a talented striker at the right age to offer consistent goals to the team. At just 20, Cummings has 48 goals in 109 appearances for Hibs and if he keeps that strike rate up then he’ll no doubt begin to earn comparisons to former Easter Road favourite Leigh Griffiths, who currently bangs them in for Celtic. With Waghorn more of an all-round striker, Cummings is an out-and-out hitman and that’s something Rangers lacked at stages in the season gone. The Hibees man proved it with four goals against the Ibrox side and, despite his arrogance, most fans of the Glasgow giants would welcome him. Given Hibs failed to get promoted this season, they may choose to offload some top talent to help balance the books and that puts Cummings in prime place for potential suitors. It wouldn’t surprise us in the slightest if Cummings ended up being Rangers’ next big signing this summer.
Rangers fans – what do you think? Who can you see signing?
Let us know in the comments below..
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