An update has emerged on Rangers’ pursuit of a new defender amid talks of a new manager arriving at Ibrox…
What’s the talk?
According to Football Insider, the Gers are one of the clubs considering a swoop for Hearts central defender John Souttar ahead of the January transfer window.
The report claims Nottingham Forest and Stoke are also interested in Souttar, with Hearts potentially ready to cash in on him to avoid the defensive titan leaving on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst has reportedly held a second round of talks with Rangers and could become the new manager of the club this week. If he does get the job then he should start to think about what he wants to do in the January transfer window, which is where Souttar comes into play.
The Dutchman could become an instant hit at Ibrox, if he isn’t already, by securing a deal to sign the 25-year-old to bolster the squad. Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun are both out of contract at the end of the season and Souttar could be a superb replacement for either of them.
Former Hearts boss Craig Levein once heaped praise on the defender and hailed his development at the club. He said:
“I’ve known him since he was 12 years old and he’s just got better and better. When he came here from Dundee Utd, we just needed to give him time.
“He’s grown into the player that I hoped he would be and for me he’s the best centre back in Scotland.
“Just for the fact that he can do wonderful things. His passing of the ball Saturday was fantastic, but he is also now capable physically of competing with any centre forward. His pace is very, very good and he’s strong, focused and aggressive.”
This highlights the level he has been playing at in Scotland in recent years, with Levein believing him to be the best centre-back in the division at the time of these quotes. His comments on his passing also suggests that he could suit Rangers’ possession style, with an ability to play out from the back.
The £3.1k-per-week beast has averaged a phenomenal WhoScored rating of 7.27 in the Premiership this term, whilst scoring three goals in 11 starts. Balogun and Goldson, meanwhile, have averaged scores of 7.06 and 7.00 respectively, suggesting that fans would love to see Souttar come in as he has shown that he can perform to a higher standard consistently in the same division this season.
Therefore, van Bronckhorst could make himself an instant hit with the supporters by making a major addition to the squad in Souttar. The defender has proven that he can excel in the Premiership and put in consistent, strong, displays and Rangers could benefit from his talents if they lose one, or both, of Goldson or Balogun.