Rangers transfers: No need for panic - but van Bronckhorst must be backed in pursuit of his top targets

As he oversees pre-season training for the first time as Rangers manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst would have welcomed the sight of familiar faces reporting for duty at the club’s training ground this week.

Rangers transfer target Antonio Colak (centre) in action for Malmo against Juventus in a Champions League group stage match last season. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
Rangers transfer target Antonio Colak (centre) in action for Malmo against Juventus in a Champions League group stage match last season. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

No doubt there would have been an especially warm handshake from the Dutchman for Connor Goldson after the big defender confounded widespread expectations of a summer departure by signing a new four-year contract at the Ibrox club.

Goldson’s fresh commitment to the cause has underpinned a strategy providing a sense of stability to a squad which reached the Europa League final and lifted the Scottish Cup last season, with the veteran duo of Steven Davis and Allan McGregor following another experienced figure, Scott Arfield, in agreeing one-year extensions to their time at the club.

There is clearly some merit in the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach, with van Bronckhorst himself having firmly shot down suggestions the current Rangers side was reaching the end of a cycle at the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst in conversation with the Ibrox club's sporting director Ross Wilson. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But he will be as keen as any other manager to supplement his tried and tested players with new additions capable of ensuring stagnation is avoided. So far, that freshening-up process has been restricted to the arrival of John Souttar from Hearts on his pre-contract deal.

If the Scotland international defender can avoid the injury problems which have previously disrupted his career, then there seems little doubt he has the quality to hit the ground running at Rangers and perhaps form a formidable partnership with Goldson at the heart of van Bronckhorst’s back four.

Rangers supporters, however, will expect van Bronckhorst’s recruitment budget to extend significantly further over the next few weeks. Having stepped up yet again to deliver record season ticket sales in excess of 45,000, providing another major financial injection in the wake of the club’s profitable run to the Europa League final in Seville, they want to see firm evidence of the manager being backed by the board.

To that end, Greek club PAOK’s valuation of around £2.5 million for Croatian international striker Antonio Colak shouldn’t be prohibitive for Rangers as van Bronckhorst seeks to enhance his attacking options for the twin challenges of reclaiming the Premiership title from Celtic and trying to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League.

After an underwhelming January transfer window, which included the headline-grabbing but ultimately unfulfilling loan captures of Aaron Ramsey and Amad Diallo, the onus is very much on sporting director Ross Wilson to come up with the goods for van Bronckhorst this time.

Apart from that obvious need for another striker, the Rangers squad is currently pretty well balanced and boasts decent depth in every other department.

But with key players such as Alfredo Morelos, Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent all going into the final year of their current contracts, how Wilson handles potential interest in any of them before the transfer window closes on September 1 will be every bit as important as his oversight of getting acquisitions over the line.

Rangers did well to find themselves a manager as accomplished as van Bronckhorst when Steven Gerrard quit last November. They now need to ensure he has all the tools at his disposal to fulfil his potential in the role and deliver sustained success.

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