With the January transfer window just a day away the Rangers support will be hoping for plenty of movement in and out of Ibrox. Given there have been more than a few high profile names under-performing so far this season, let us assess who could be leaving Rangers in this window.
It has been reported in the Daily Express that Rangers have rejected a £500,000 bid for Josh Windass from Preston North End. PNE have already raided the Scottish market for the in-form Motherwell striker Louis Moult and are probably keen to steal another bargain. The same article also suggested Rangers would be holding out for somewhere closer to £2million. That figure seems rather inflated considering some of his poor performances this season, but I'm pleased to see Rangers looking to maximise the value of a young asset. Bearing in mind Windass was signed for around £65,000, anything between £500,000-£1million looks like an excellent return on a player who continues to frustrate. Against Celtic, Windass showed very little in attack or defence, but this was a performance typical of his time at Ibrox. Despite improving overall this season, it may be in Rangers' best interest to cash in on Windass during this window.
James Tavernier has also been linked with a move to the English Championship, with Sunderland his alleged suitors, as per a recent gossip-piece in the Scottish Sun. No figures were suggested this time, but most followers of the Light Blues would probably hope for something in the low millions. After signing for around £200,000, anything over £1.5million would probably be welcomed - if indeed the Rangers board are looking to sell a player with just 18 months remaining in his contract. As yet, there have been no reports of Tavernier extending his stay past the summer of 2019, but we've hardly had a manager long enough to think about it. Graeme Murty won't be looking any further than this summer, so Tavernier may not be his priority right now.
Similar to Windass, Tavernier has often frustrated this writer, despite his potential and appealing physical attributes going forward. However, against Celtic Tavernier really lead from the front during the second half and seemed to take ownership of the game when there were not many other experienced leaders around him. Based on that performance, I would hate to see him leave; before the summer, at least. Finally, there might be a great player about to emerge from the potential great player we've seen so far.
Carlos Peña and Fabio Cardoso have also been linked with transfers back to their home countries by a Scottish newspaper. I'm not sure too many Rangers supporters would be sad to see them go, despite the heavy losses we would have to accept.
Meanwhile Bruno Alves was reported (in the Telegraph on December 8th) to be prepared to hand in a transfer request during the January window if he was not going to feature regularly, ahead of the World Cup this summer. Since then Alves has been starting when fully fit, but do Rangers need to select him just to keep him? David Bates replaced the injured Alves against Celtic and the defence seemed a lot stronger without him. Bates has been growing in stature each time he has featured this season, and looking ahead, I think I'd be selecting both Bates and Wilson before Alves and Cardoso, who were the first choice pair under Pedro Caixinha. It would be highly unlikely anyone would be prepared to buy Alves, given his age, but an amicable parting of ways could free up a big chunk of our wage budget to bring in a few much-needed replacements. Would Alves welcome the chance to jump ship? Possibly. There are many within the Rangers online community who feel he has not looked interested since Caixinha departed.
Although not directly linked with a return to Mexico just yet, Eduardo Herrera would be another welcome departure for this writer. More so, if we could recoup anything of the reported £1million we paid for him last summer. Despite his best efforts, Herrera does not have the quality or physicality to make an impression in Scottish football.
Finally, if I had anything to do with it, the mightily handsome Niko Krancjar would be available for anyone who wants him! I don't mean to be harsh, but his body is simply not capable of playing the football his brain is trying to play. And yes, before you say it, I realise I've just attempted to justify moving on six players when we can barely fill a bench at present!
Look out for Part 2 of this series tomorrow as we look to assess what positions Rangers should look to fill during this window.
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