Filip Helander to Rangers: Defender poised to sign three-year deal at Ibrox

Filip Helander in action for Bologna against Lazio
Filip Helander in action for Bologna against Lazio
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Rangers are set to sign Sweden international defender Filip Helander on a three-year deal, according to reports.

Swedish publication Aftonbladet earlier claimed the 26-year-old would leave Serie A side Bologna and join the Ibrox side and a recent report from Goal magazine, citing sources close to the player, states that Helander has agreed terms on a three-year deal.

A transfer fee is yet to be agreed between Bologna and Rangers but it is believed the Ibrox side will pay €4 million (£3.6 million) for the player's services - despite Aftonbladet claiming a fee of SEK50 million (£4.2 million) had already been agreed.

The defender is understood to have an offer from Istanbul Başakşehir, while Besiktas are also keeping tabs on the situation. However, Helander is reportedly more keen on a move to Scotland, rather than Turkey. Newcastle United were also credited with an interest in September last year.

Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard confirmed after watching his side defeat Gibraltarian side St Joseph's 4-0 in their Europa League opener that a deal for an unnamed player was nearing completion.

He said: "It will be a permanent deal for a defender. There is still a way to go but we have had some progress in the last couple of days.

“If things progress as they have in the last 48 hours, I’m hoping something will get done by the end of the week.”

Helander will become Rangers' eighth signing of the summer, once the deal is rubber-stamped.

The 6ft 4in defender, who has ten caps for Sweden, started his career with Malmo, spending four years in Scania before his switch to Italy, initially with Hellas Verona, in 2015.

He joined Bologna in 2016 and has played 63 games for I Rossoblu, scoring once, but found himself in and out of the team during the last campaign after Sinisa Mihajlovic succeeded Filippo Inzaghi as head coach. Helander featured just 20 times in the league last season, and also missed seven games through injury.

After playing the full 90 minutes in Bologna's first three Serie A games, a knee injury kept him sidelined until October 21, when he returned to the starting line-up against Torino.

He held onto his place for the next 13 matches before a suspension forced him to miss a trip to face Inter Milan. On his return, he struggled to hold down a starting berth, and featured from the start in just three further matches.

The Swede was an unused sub for the final five matches of the season, with his last taste of action coming as a late substitute in a 3-0 home win against Sampdoria on April 20.

Rangers are in the market for defensive reinforcements, having seen Joe Worrall return to parent club Nottingham Forest following the culmination of his loan deal last season, while Northern Ireland international Gareth McAuley left the club at the end of his 12-month contract.

George Edmundson has already arrived from Oldham Athletic to join current central defenders Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic.