Who’s next to leave Ibrox?

WITH Matt McKay’s inauspicious Rangers career set to come to a close, he may be the first of many more to leave the club due to Rangers’ ongoing struggles with administration. The Scotsman ponders the prospects of other senior players who may be making their way out of Govan


Widely known as one of the highest earners at the club, the Rangers captain’s high salary will be closely scrutinised by administrators as they weigh up the financial implications of a player who commands an estimated weekly wage of nearly £30,000. The matter is complicated by the fact that Davis is contracted to Rangers until 2016; an enforced departure could potentially prove as expensive as keeping him on the books. Should Davis leave, a move to the Premiership or a high-flying Championship side would be the Northern Ireland international’s most likely destination.


McGregor’s situation mirrors that of captain Davis. The Scotland international is another player whose high wages would render him an immediate contender for redundancy. Moreover, like Davis, McGregor has been tied to a long-term deal, a six year contract penned only last year. Rumours of a move to the Premiership no doubt compelled Rangers to act; these rumours may yet resurface in light of current circumstances. Moreover, Rangers have a more than capable stand-in in Neil Alexander.


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Reportedly earning something in the region of £20,000 a week and under contract until 2016, Whittaker is another whose continued employment at the club will be scrutinised closely. It is likely that Rangers will do their utmost to present a case stating that keeping hold of star players like Whittaker will contribute to Rangers’ success, and therefore the return to health of their finances. Whether they convince the administrators and HMRC is another matter.


The jury is still out on whether Lafferty falls into the ‘star player’ category, though it is inarguable that, with the departure of Nikica Jelavic, he is now Rangers’ most established forward. The Northern Ireland international has a year left on his contract, and on that basis alone may find himsself touted to interested parties. That said, with Rangers already severely bereft of striking options, they may be particularly reluctant to let Lafferty leave.


McCulloch’s versatility has been a key asset for Rangers since his arrival from Wigan in 2007. At 33, McCulloch is unlikely to draw a transfer fee significant enough to warrant his departure, though with just over a year remaining on his contract, any deal to keep the former Motherwell striker beyond 2013 would likely mean a significant wage drop.


Edu, one of a clutch of Rangers players entering the final year of their contracts, has enjoyed a largely productive, if ocassionally wayward, four year spell at Rangers. A £500,000 bid from Ligue 1 outfit Sochaux was knocked back by Rangers, but in light of the possibility of a return bid by the French side given Rangers’ current plight, any decision to sell may depend on Steven Davis’ position.


While Naismith’s versatility in attack has been a boon for the Ibrox side, his potted injury history may cast doubt on the wisdom of retaining his services on a contract that runs until 2015. When fit, he has proved himself to be a valuable asset for Rangers, and would command a not unreasonable transfer fee should Rangers decide to sell.


It is easy to forget that, amid the controversy of his Rangers debut last November, Aluko paid a significant amount out of his own pocket to secure a transfer to Rangers. With this in mind, he may be minded to stick it out at Rangers on reduced terms, though that much may also depend on the pedigree of interest shown in him should he be made available for transfer.


Should Wallace, a player for whom Rangers paid £1.5 million for (though they still owe Hearts £800,000), be told to leave, he would not be short of suitors - Aston Villa are reportedly keen on the full-back.


One of the current squad’s longest serving players, Sasa Papac is highly regarded at Ibrox. However, the Bosnian’s future may be contingent on his willingness to accept a new deal on reduced wages.