Rangers have made a strong start to their summer recruitment drive, bringing in no fewer than eight players, including seven on a permanent basis, as they look to bolster their squad for the 2017/18 season and an assault on Celtic’s domestic dominance.
Pedro Caixinha has already added quantity and quality to his defence, midfield and attack, but there’s no certainty that he will stop there. Indeed, there remain a number of other transfer targets whose signatures are yet to be confirmed.
We take a look at the top four Rangers transfer stories according to the Football Whispers Index, which scores the validity of transfer rumours out of five, to see who else could make the move to Ibrox this summer.
GRAHAM DORRANS – NORWICH CITY – 2.5
Rangers have already brought in Ryan Jack and Carlos Peña to strengthen their midfield, but they remain heavily linked with a move for Graham Dorrans.
The 30-year-old is an experienced operator, having played a crucial role in the promotions of both Norwich and West Bromwich Albion to the Premier League. He also has 12 caps for Scotland, having made his international debut eight years ago.
An accomplished passer of the ball, Dorrans’ 86.3 per cent pass completion rate was by far and away the highest in the Canaries squad last term. He also averaged 0.9 key passes per game, a solid rate for a central midfielder.
Rangers have reportedly made a third bid of around £1.3million for the player. And, were he to join Rangers, he would bring composure, class and incision to Caixinha’s midfield.
VURNON ANITA – NEWCASTLE UNITED – 1.5
If Rangers are after flexibility and affordability Rangers, their pursuit of Vurnon Anita makes a great deal of sense. The Dutchman can play in midfield or defence and would be available on a free transfer following his departure from Newcastle.
The 28-year-old played his part in helping the Magpies to promotion back to the Premier League last season, making 27 league appearances. He averaged 1.4 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game, and completed a respectable 80.2 per cent of his attempted passes.
A full-back or central midfielder, Anita was singled out for praise by Rafa Benítez, who said: “Vurnon is an outstanding team player, always working for the team and willing to step into whatever position he was needed to fill.
“He is an excellent professional and I thank him for every contribution he has made over the years, particularly in my time as manager.”
Experienced, professional and technically sound, Anita would be a positive addition to Rangers squad ahead of next season.
JAMIE WALKER – HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN – 1.1
Rangers fans and staff know all about Jamie Walker.
Last season, he scored twice for Hearts in a 4-1 rout of the Glasgow giants at Tynecastle, helping to heap misery on an already underwhelming campaign.
However, in recent weeks it has emerged that the 24-year-old Scottish playmaker could soon join the team he once terrorised.
Walker is entering the final year of his contract.and is reportedly open to a move.
But Hearts will demand a minimum transfer fee of £1million for their star, who was directly involved in 22 goals – scoring 15 – in 43 appearances last term.
If Rangers do pay what is needed to secure the player’s signature, he would add technique, cunning movement and flexibility to their attacking options.
KENNY MCLEAN – ABERDEEN – 1.0
Aberdeen are desperate not to lose any more of their first team playing squad this summer having already said goodbye to the aforementioned Jack, as well as Niall McGinn, Jonny Hayes and Ash Taylor.
However, Rangers could add to the Dons’ woes, as they seem intent on moving for key midfielder Kenny McLean.
The 25-year-old, who prefers to play centrally, has been an instrumental member of the Aberdeen line-up in recent years. And, while he is about to go into the final 12 months of his current deal, a move away now would seriously weaken an already threadbare squad.
Rangers won’t mind, however. They are evidently keen on adding creativity to the midfield, hence the signing of Peña and links to Dorrans and Walker. McLean would also be a huge help in filling this particular void.