The manager at Ibrox is prepared for anything but, by his own admission, isn't anticipating much action. However that will not stop the speculation and, with a squad performing so well in both the league and Europe, on the back of a title-winning season, interest is high in many of its’ members.
Rangers tend to strengthen rather than sell in January, preferring to loan players out in recent winter windows, but Joe Aribo, currently bound for west Africa on international duty with Nigeria has caught the eye most in recent weeks on the pitch, and has been linked with a Steven Gerrard reunion at Aston Villa or a return to south London with Crystal Palace.
Likewise, Gerrard has been linked with Glen Kamara to solve his midfield issues in the Midlands, after branding the bargain-bought Finland international a ‘Rolls-Royce’ during his time at Ibrox.
And what of Ryan Kent? Another favourite of Gerrard’s who followed him from Liverpool to Glasgow, where his admittedly settled, but frequently connected to a return south.
Everton tested Rangers’ resolve with a move for Nathan Patterson that was laughed out of the building in the summer – and Rafa Benitez is tipped to make another play for the Scotland interational this month. Connor Goldson’s expiring contract is also another situation to be monitored this month, but with defence stretched by injury, cashing in early seems unlikely.
Perhaps in all the transfer talk it’s interesting that Alfredo Morelos – often a perennial inclusion in all outgoing gossip from Ibrox – if noticeable by his absence, despite 13 goals so far this season.
Given each link, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s simple aim of ending the month with a squad a strong as what he starts with is perhaps not as easy as it sounds and the manager may have to recruit reinforcements if any of his eye-catching first-team players are lured away, or a transfer offer proves too good to turn down.
Xavi Simons’ name has circulated frequently with Rangers reportedly in contact with the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder’s high-profile agent Mino Raiola.
Anderlecht winger Francis Amuzu is another rumoured to have been watched, as has Romanian Olimpiu Morutan at Galatasaray, a play-maker in the number 10 position not unlike the coveted Ianis Hagi.
Links to Dutch midfielder Joey Veerman dissipated in the summer, and Feyenoord are reportedly keen on the Heerenveen 22-year-old – but could the new managerial twist and lure of 106-capped Netherlands international change the landscape? A fee could prove the stumbling block – however if Rangers recouped millions for some of those previously mentioned, it may become less of an issue.
January can be a mixed month. Last year saw Scott Wright and Jack Simpson arrive, before that was Ianis Hagi and Flo Kamberi in 2020. In 2019 it was the arrival of Glen Kamara for a bargain £50,000 and Steven Davis’ free transfer that headlined the winter window with Eros Grezda leaving permanently.
One thing is for sure, though all is quiet on Edmiston Drive in terms of matchday action at the moment – it will still be busy, and noisy, month of transfer talk.