5 free agents Rangers could still sign - including ex-Celtic defender and England World Cup star

There were some eyebrows raised when Rangers failed to strengthen their squad on transfer deadline day.

Having already brought in seven new faces during the summer, spending £12million in the process, manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst declared himself happy with the resources at his disposal, despite the squad still appearing light in certain areas.

With two big-name departures in Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey earning the club around £26m, and the estimated £30m bounty from qualifying for the Champions League group stages, Rangers fans have questioned the lack of further investment, particularly in the wake of successive 4-0 defeats to Celtic and Ajax.

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Of course, should they wish to, Rangers could still strengthen using the free agents market. Here are five players that the Ibrox side could turn to for the extra quality and depth they require.

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Jason Denayer

This would be a controversial one, as is the case when a player who has played for one half of the Old Firm subequently joins the other. The 27-year-old centre-back spent a season on loan at Celtic from Manchester City in the early part of his career so he may not entertain a move back to the Scottish Premiership with their Glasgow rivals, but with 35 caps for Belgium and Champions League experience, he is exactly the type of player Rangers need to enhance the squad. Denayer was released by Lyon this summer and has been linked with moves to various clubs including Wolves, Besiktas and Valencia.

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Nikola Maksimović

Another defender on the market with international pedigree, having earned 25 caps for Serbia, the 30-year-old is yet to find a club following his release from Serie A side Genoa, where he spent last season. Before that, he spent five years at Napoli including one season on loan at Spartak Moscow. Roma and Galatasaray have been linked but so far nothing has transpired. In his homeland he has often been compared to Nemanja Vidić. Rangers certainly could have done with a defender fitting that type against Celtic and Ajax.

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Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst could still look to strengthen his squad using the free agent market. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Fabian Delph

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If Rangers are looking to strengthen their options in the middle of the park after particularly weak showings against Celtic and Ajax then a move for the 20-times capped England international would make sense. The former Man City, Everton and Aston Villa midfielder has bags of EPL experience, winning two titles in his time at the Etihad, and played in the 2018 World Cup. At 32 he is five years younger than Steven Davis so should still have a few good years left. He was released by Everton at the end of last season and is still without a club.

Andy Carroll

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Once a £35m striker, when he signed for Liverpool from Newcastle in 2011, the 6ft 4in target man is certainly past his best after a career dispruted by injury. He has spent the last two seasons in the English Championship and managed three goals in 15 appearances for West Brom last term. Unlikely to be a regular starter wherever he ends up, Carroll might be a good option if Rangers were to require a plan B. His physical presence and eye for goal would certainly cause problems for defences in the Scottish Premiership. Is said to be on Wolves’ radar if their move for former Chelsea and Athletico Madrid striker Diego Costa falls through.

Håvard Nordtveit

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A central defeneder who can also play right-back and defensive midfield, the 52-times capped Norway international was once signed by Arsene Wenger, although never played a first-team match for Arsenal. The bulk of his career has been spent in the Bundesliga with 152 appearances for Borussia Mönchengladbach on his CV. He has also turned out for West Ham and Fulham and is a free agent after being released by Hoffenheim at the end of last season. His versatility across the back would be a huge asset for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and help address some of the selection issues in defence.

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