Six Rangers players who are likely to attract interest or be moved on during the January transfer window
In what is his third January transfer window as Rangers manager, Steven Gerrard finds himself with no pressing need to make significant additions to his squad.
The previous two winter windows saw Gerrard bolster his resources in what proved to be unsuccessful efforts to sustain a title challenge in the second half of the season.
In 2019, Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe were recruited on initial loan deals along with the ultimately inspired £50,000 capture of Glen Kamara from Dundee. Last year, loan signings Ianis Hagi and Florian Kamberi were the only new arrivals.
January 2021 finds Rangers in a far stronger position, both in terms of the existing strength of their squad and the commanding 19-point lead they enjoy at the top of the Premiership which makes their first title triumph in a decade already looking assured.
Gerrard has already stated firmly that ‘none of our big players will be going anywhere in January’ when quizzed about potential moves this month.
While that won’t stop interest from elsewhere in some of his key men, it will be fringe members of his squad who are most likely to be departing the club over the next four weeks.
Scotsman Sport looks at six Rangers players likely to be making headlines in the January window.
It wouldn’t really be a transfer window worthy of the name if there wasn’t speculation over Alfredo Morelos.
Rangers rejected a bid of £16 million for the Colombian international striker from Lille back in August and the French club continue to monitor his situation.
But while Morelos has so far not been as prolific in front of goal this season, scoring just once in his last 10 appearances, his overall contribution to Rangers’ style of play is no less highly valued by Gerrard.
A big money move for one of the Ibrox club’s biggest assets is inevitable but there will be no rush to make it happen this month.
It’s been evident for some time that Greg Stewart is effectively surplus to requirements at Rangers.
The 30-year-old forward, signed on a free transfer from Birmingham City in the summer of 2019, has made just four appearances this season with his sole start coming in the Europa League qualifier against Gibraltar minnows Lincoln Red Imps in September.
Stewart’s contract is due to expire at the end of this season but his exit could be advanced if Rangers receive a suitable offer this month.
As he stands on the cusp of becoming the first Rangers captain to lift the top flight league trophy since 2011, James Tavernier is not about to be unsettled by growing interest in him among English clubs.
"Everyone will have a look at who is moving where this month, but I'm really enjoying my football and I'm concentrating on training as hard as I can and working really hard for the club,” said Tavernier at the weekend.
"When you're happy and comfortable, you don't tend to be on your phone every day looking at the transfer market.”
The 29-year-old right-back was in phenomenal form in the first half of the season, posting 17 goals and 14 assists so far, and Rangers could look to extend his current contract which has 18 months still to run.
Northern Ireland international winger Jordan Jones looked to have staked a strong claim for more regular game time at Rangers when he marked his first starting appearance of the season with his first goal for the club in a 5-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park in September.
But the 26-year-old, signed on a free transfer from Kilmarnock in 2019, has failed to build on the promise of his eye-catching display that afternoon.
His cause was not helped by a breach of coronavirus guidelines which saw him disciplined by Rangers and then sidelined for seven matches by a Scottish FA suspension.
Jones was linked with a host of English Championship clubs during the last transfer window, including QPR, Middlesbrough, Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers.
While he has now back training with the Rangers first team squad and available for selection again, any offers for Jones this month are likely to be given serious consideration.
Central defender George Edmundson also compromised his career at Rangers with his breach of Covid-19 protocol along with Jordan Jones at the start of November.
The 23-year-old had made just two appearances before then, starting the Europa League qualifier against Lincoln Red Imps and then scoring an own goal after coming on as a substitute in the 5-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park.
Edmundson, signed from Oldham Athletic for £700,000 in the summer of 2019, is under contract until 2023 and remains well regarded by the Rangers’ coaching staff.
But with the club well resourced in central defence, even allowing for long-term injury absentee Nikola Katic, a return to England for Edmundson this month can’t be ruled out.
Scotland under-21 international winger Glenn Middleton was a prominent member of the Rangers’ squad during Gerrard’s first season as manager, scoring five goals in 28 appearances.
But he has slipped out of the picture since then. Middleton had loan spells at Hibs and Bradford City last season, while his only involvement in the current campaign was as a late substitute in the Betfred Cup tie at Falkirk in November.
Having celebrated his 21st birthday on New Year’s Day, Middleton is at the stage of his career where the need for regular first team football could prompt a move away from Rangers during this window.
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