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Hutton claims Brandon Barker dazzling Gerrard in training

Alan Hutton claims that Brandon Barker has dazzled Steven Gerrard in training after his recent appearances for Rangers.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Gers defender believes the winger has plenty to offer the Light Blues but that he needs to play regularly to prove his ability.

The 23-year-old started the Gers’ Europa League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen and came off the bench for a 10-minute cameo against St Mirren on Sunday.

Having joined Rangers from Manchester City in the summer of 2019, Barker played a total 12 times across all competitions last season.

However, he only featured three times in 2020 and not one of those outings came among the starting XI.

As revealed by Football Insider back in March, Rangers were considering selling the wide man this summer after being left unconvinced about his ability to perform on a matchday.

However, having already seen Barker play twice in the last week, Hutton believes Gerrard has seen something behind the scenes to give him another chance.

“I think he’s obviously come in and shown something in training,” Hutton told Football Insider.

“We knew, against Leverkusen, how they were going to set up, they were going to have to sit in a little bit and have that bit of extra pace to try and hit them on the counter. That’s what I can see when I saw the lineup and he fits that bill.

“I would like to see him use his pace a little bit more, he’s a real threat going forward but I think that comes with confidence and games. He’s the type of player that to me has to play regularly to get in his stride.

“Gerrard obviously likes him, he’s used him at the start of the season so he has to build on it, he has to put on performances if he wants to stay in the team.”

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Leeds line up move for Borna Barisic after Bielsa meeting

Leeds United are plotting a move for Rangers left-back Borna Barisic, Football Insider understands.

The Croatia international, 27, has developed into one of the prize assets at Ibrox two years after signing from NK Osijek.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the club are in the market for a senior left-back and Barisic is firmly on their radar.

Converted winger Stuart Dallas was the first choice at left-back in United’s Championship-winning campaign.

But manager Marcelo Bielsa has made it a priority during a recruitment meeting with Leeds chiefs to reinforce in that position ahead of their return to the Premier League next month.

It remains to be seen what that means for Barry Douglas, the £3million signing from Wolves, or Ezgjan Alioski, another converted winger who has played extensively at left-back for Leeds.

As Football Insider revealed in June, the Ibrox hierarchy anticipated only star striker Alfredo Morelos would generate more interest than Barisic this summer.

The Colombia international is in advanced talks to join Lille for around £17million after Rangers signed two new strikers this week in Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten.

Now, Leeds are ready to test their resolve over Barisic, who many see as the second most valuable asset in the playing squad.

Rangers are well placed to keep the defender, or at least secure a major fee for him, as he signed a new four-year contract at the end of January that ties him to the club until the summer of 2024.

Barisic made 39 appearances in 2019-20 and was a reliable creative source, contributing an impressive 14 assists as well as two goals.

Rangers signed a new left-back in Calvin Bassey, 20, earlier in the window but that came after they released Andy Halliday and Jon Flanagan at the end of May.

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Kemar Roofe set for Ibrox medical as Rangers close in on new signing

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Rangers are closing in on the signing of Anderlecht striker Kemar Roofe.

The Glasgow giants have held extensive negotiations with Belgian club about landing the 27-year-old on a permanent deal.

Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that discussions have progressed over the last 48 hours and an agreement between the two clubs is close.

Rangers are ready to offer Roofe a four-year contract to persuade him to return to the UK a year after quitting Leeds United.

The Light Blues are increasingly hopeful the versatile forward could be lured to Ibrox in time to feature in their Scottish Premiership clash against St Mirren on Sunday.

Roofe has been targeted by Rangers amid growing fears Alfredo Morelos is close to leaving the club.

As revealed by Football Insider last week, the Colombia international is in advanced talks to join Lille in a deal worth £17million.

That would leave Rangers with a massive profit on the striker signed for £1million three years ago.

Roofe is likely to cost around a third of the potential Morelos fee.

He cost Anderlecht £5.5m last summer and an injury-hit debut campaign yielded seven goals in 16 matches.

The West Brom academy product secured a move to Belgium after a stellar 2018-19 season for Leeds in which he netted 15 goals in 34 matches.

Marcelo Bielsa converted the former winger and attacking midfielder into an orthodox spearhead at Elland Road and it paid dividends with the best season of his career.

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Barrow set sights on signing Jamie Barjonas

League Two new boys Barrow have set their sights on signing Rangers midfielder Jamie Barjonas this summer, Football Insider can reveal.

The 21-year-old was praised by Steven Gerrard for his performance in the Scottish giants’ recent pre-season friendly win over Nice.

Ibrox sources have told Football Insider Rangers are ready to loan out Barjonas for next season.

That has opened the door for Cumbrian outfit Barrow, who won the 2019-20 National League and will line up in League Two next season.

Barjonas is surplus to requirements at Rangers, where he has entered the final 12 months of his contract.

The versatile midfielder broke into the Light Blues side when he was 18 and has nine first-team appearances under his belt for the club.

But he has struggled to make any headway during Steven Gerrard’s reign and spent the second half of the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Partick Thistle.

Jamie Barjonas of Rangers makes a sliding tackle

He played five times before the season was cut short and has previous loan experience in England for Bury and has played in League Two south of the border.

Barjonas has also had a spell at Raith Rovers when they were in the Scottish League One.

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Gerrard will hold talks with Ryan Kent over pre-season conduct

Alan Hutton believes Rangers boss Steven Gerrard will hold talks with Ryan Kent after the winger was sent off in the friendly versus Olympique Lyonnais.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Gers defender claims the manager will appreciate the 23-year-old’s competitive streak but that he will want to rein him in after a couple of incidents.

Kent saw red for a petulant slap in last Thursday’s win over Lyon, although he was able to play against OGC Nice a couple of days later.

Having seen the winger lash out in the past, Hutton believes Gerrard will take his star man to one side and hold frank discussions about his behaviour moving forward.

“He’s had previous for it, he’s obviously got this little hot streak in him which is fine because some players thrive off that, they play better,” Hutton told Football Insider.

“He just needs to hold back a little bit – in a friendly, yes, you can get away with it and he could have got banned but he got away with it but you can’t be doing that during the season.

“He’s such an important player for Rangers, his skill for one of the goals from the short corner I thought was brilliant – that was the first Ryan Kent we saw, that’s the one we want this season.

“I think Gerrard had the exact same, it’s more of a winning mentality, you hate getting beat or someone getting the best of you. You don’t want to take that out of somebody’s game because they become a different player but you also have to realise there’s a line and you can’t cross it.

“If you cross it, you’re harming the club, yourself, the rest of the players – it’s too much. Yes, play on the edge but don’t have that stupidity in you – remember against Celtic the Scott Brown incident? You can’t be like that. I think Gerrard will probably have a conversation with him about this.”

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Four strikers who may join Rangers this summer in Ibrox reshuffle

Rangers are braced for bids for Alfredo Morelos as the likelihood grows he will push to quit in the coming weeks. 

The Colombian has hit 30 goals in 46 appearances for the Glasgow giants and has been linked with a move away from Ibrox, with a number of suitors chasing his signature.

Earlier this month, Football Insider revealed the Ibrox board are prepared to accept a bid of £12m for his services and boss Steven Gerrard will surely use that to reinvest in his squad.

Here are four strikers who Rangers may sign to replace Morelos if he does quit this summer.

Ivan Toney

The Peterborough hotshot racked up 26 goals last term and has now found the net 49 times in two seasons with the Posh.

Toney looks destined to leave the League One outfit this summer, with a host of clubs reported to be in for him.

Football Insider revealed on Friday that promotion-chasing Brentford have had a £5 million bid accepted by Posh, so Rangers will have to move swiftly to bring in the 24-year-old.

Rhian Brewster 

Brewster has been a long-term Rangers target since Gerrard’s arrival but bringing him north of the border now seems unlikely.

The 20-year-old has scored nine goals in 19 games for Championship play-off chasers Swansea City.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Brewster has “shown his talent” in South Wales and he now looks set for a chance at Anfield.

Josh Maja

Rangers sources told Football Insider in May that Maja is on the club’s list of targets, after Boredeaux said they were willing to listen to offers.

The 20-year-old netted 16 times for Sunderland before a move to the French giants in January 2019 and could be a very astute addition.

Moise Kean 

With Everton keen on Morelos, maybe Rangers can make a cheeky move to sign Moise Kean in part-exchange.

The Italian striker has endured a frustrating stint on Merseyside since moving from Juventus last summer.

Wages could be a stumbling block for a permanent switch but a loan move could be a smart option for all parties.

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Rangers stance revealed after multi-million fee for Ivan Toney agreed

Rangers are still pursuing striker Ivan Toney even though Brentford have had a £5m bid accepted by Peterborough United, Football Insider can reveal.

The hunt for the in-demand 24-year-old took a seemingly decisive turn when this site yesterday revealed the Championship promotion chasers’ accepted offer.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Rangers have not given up hope of prising Toney from London Road.

But the Glasgow giants do not yet know if Alfredo Morelos will still be at Ibrox next season and that is critical to their interest in the former Newcastle United centre-forward.

Brentford’s offer for Toney is believed to be between the £3.5million and £5m mark.

But he has yet to agree personal terms with the London club and the door is still open for rivals.

Bournemouth and West Brom as well as Celtic and the New York Red Bulls have also expressed an interest in Toney this summer.

The forward has made up his mind to quit Peterborough after a stunning 26-goal campaign that has put him on the radar of many top clubs.

The League One outfit are willing to cash in on the striker as he has entered the final 12 months of his contract and his value will tumble next year.

Toney was on fire before the March lockdown, netting 24 league goals – nine more than anyone else – among 26 in all competitions this season before the campaign was terminated early.

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Rangers in advanced talks to seal Bongani Zungu deal

Rangers have offered a lucrative contract to Amiens midfielder Bongani Zungu as they close in on signing him, Football Insider understands.

The Light Blues have held extensive talks with the South Africa international as they look to make him their fourth senior summer signing.

Ibrox sources have told Football Insider the club are in negotiations with French side Amiens as well as the player himself.

Rangers have offered a big-money long-term contract to Zungu and are increasingly hopeful of reaching an agreement.

Amiens have made it clear they will let the 27-year-old leave if their £3.8m asking price is met after their relegation from Ligue 1.

He has entered the final 12 months of his contract at the club and came close to leaving in the January transfer window.

Steven Gerrard has set his sights on the central midfielder as he looks to bring extra quality into his midfield ranks for next season.

Last season, Rangers had Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack, Steven Davis, Joe Aribo and Scott Arfield battling it out for three positions.

Zungu is a 24-times international who scored two goals in last year’s African Cup of Nations and has 57 matches in France following his move from Portugal in 2017.

Rangers have already made three senior signings this summer by bringing in Ianis Hagi, Calvin Bassey and goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.

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Hutton Wowed as Rangers plot bargain raid for Christian Maghoma

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Alan Hutton claims that free agent Christian Maghoma could become a “world-beater” were he to sign for Rangers this summer.

The former Rangers and Scotland full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the 22-year-old centre-back is a “rough diamond” who could flourish under the stewardship of Steven Gerrard.

As revealed by Football Insider, the Gers are plotting a move to sign the former Spurs defender on a free transfer after a spell at Polish outfit Arka Gdynia.

The Light Blues are in the market for a new centre-back after Nikola Katic’s serious injury blow and believe Marghoma could be the physically imposing defender Gerrard wants to recruit.

Hutton has lauded the defender fo leaving Spurs in pursuit of first-team football and believes he could become a huge star at Ibrox.

Hutton told Football Insider: “I’ve heard a little bit about him, he went two years ago in hunt of first-team football so fair play to the boy for being so young and heading over to Poland to play, I think it’s brilliant.

“He’s meant to be big, physical, strong and it’s pretty much a no-brainer. If you can bring someone in that’s talent, you know he’s got talent and by all accounts he’s played well over there – if you can bring him in for a little amount, especially wages-wise, you wouldn’t have thought you’d have to break the bank.

“It could be a gem, it could be a rough diamond which, over the past, I think Rangers and Celtic have been really good at finding so the injury kind of forced his hand to bring someone in and this looks like it could be a good fit. Playing under Gerrard, he’s going to push a young boy on to go and impress.

“Hopefully he turns into a world-beater.” 

Marghoma never played for Tottenham’s first-team before leaving north London, although he featured over 50 times for their under-23s.

He made 39 appearances for Arka Gdynia during his two-year spell in Poland and has also earned an international cap for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Hutton rages as Villa plot reported Rangers youth raid

Alan Hutton admits he is raging over the prospect of Rangers losing young midfielder Cole McKinnon to the likes of Everton or Aston Villa this summer.

The former Gers defender and boyhood fan of the club, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists he does not want to see “another Billy Gilmour case” where a hot prospect is poached by a Premier League team.

The Scottish Sun report that Everton and Villa are among a number of English sides eyeing the 17-year-old central midfielder and that there may be a bid launched for his capture this summer.

McKinnon moving south would be reminiscent of when Billy Gilmour left Ibrox as a 16-year-old to join Chelsea, with the youngster now on the fringes of the Blues’ senior side.

Hutton admits he is frustrated by English clubs raiding Scotland for the best young talent and fears McKinnon will be unable to resist the lure of a move down south.

Hutton told Football Insider: “It just annoys me, I totally understand it, I get why – he’s only 17-years-old, he’s played with the reserves under Graeme Murty and they see he’s got a big future ahead of him.

“The lure of the Premier League, what can you do? Teams can pick your players out for next to nothing.

“Obviously Rangers think he’s got a big future there, he’s got one year left on his contract so they have let it run down but I think the lure of the Premier League for one so young is difficult.

“It’s another one that looks set to leave and it’s another Billy Gilmour case that is going to be a talent lost.”

McKinnon, a Scotland under-16 international, is yet to play for Rangers’ first-team but has turned out for their under-23s.

Gilmour meanwhile has gone on to play 11 times for Chelsea since his move to Stamford Bridge.

This article was originally posted here