Addressing the supporters, he said: “We know that in time a key part of our business model means that we have to facilitate an increase in income by trading players. We have to really focus on that over the next 12 months.
“We know as a club we've made a lot of progress in a lot of areas but that area is one we're really focused on. We know for the business model of the club we need to start moving one or two players a year.
“It won't be a big turnover in the squad but that is something we need to do and something we're really focused on.”
The Ibrox side have been relying on soft loans from their key stakeholders in order to keep the club running and highly competitive on the field, which paid off when they won the league title last season and got to have a crack at the £30million-plus windfall from making it to the Champions League group stages.
Such riches would have either meant player sales weren’t entirely necessary this window, or at the very least put the club in a position of power during negotiations. With all that money coming in, there is no way another club could prize one of the stars away without paying top dollar. The defeat to Malmo in the third qualifying round has robbed them of that advantage. Suitors will know there is a pressure on the club to sell at least a couple of players and the bids will be reduced as a result.
But who is most likely to head out the door this summer? We look at the likely candidates:
It’s at the point where it’s almost expected the Colombian will go. He’s been linked with a move to Porto for most of the summer, has stated several times that he sees Rangers as a stepping stone to bigger leagues and greater riches, and he underlined his credentials with a goal in Tuesday’s match. His Instagram post the next day, in which he posted four photos of himself celebrating said goal, also suggests he’s thinking about his immediate future more than his club’s.
He’s been an excellent player for Rangers and, especially if a couple of other clubs become seriously interested, they should be able to drive his price north of £15m. It’s not the same value which Celtic are shopping around Odsonne Edouard for, a player in the final year of his deal, but context is crucial here. Celtic have a stronger financial footing, don’t necessarily need to sell and a recent history of flogging players for eight digits. That matters in the market.
Proven that he’s got the ability to excel across the continent and should have a litany of clubs knocking on the door for his services. One of the most assured and composed midfielders to grace Scottish football in the last couple of decades, he would be a huge miss for matches in Europe (as evidenced by his absence against Malmo) but should net them an incredible profit with talk of value close to £10m for someone they bought for £50k.
Leeds United remain interested in a player who, if it weren’t for the Rangers’ apparent need to sell, should perhaps stick around for one more season at least and see if he can add a little more consistency to his game. He has the potential to be the league’s leading scorer but often has periods of patchy form. Would likely earn the club above £10m if he does go.
The creative left-back said earlier this summer that he’s perfectly happy with life at Rangers but couldn’t rule out the possibility of moving on if a club from a bigger league came calling. At 28, he’s in his peak and it’d be the ideal time for the club to sell him on. That said, he is so valuable to manager Steven Gerrard’s style of play with his excellent deliveries from wide areas and would be a huge miss.
The Swede said earlier this summer he isn’t particularly interested in a move to England, with Aston Villa and Leicester City apparently interested, but he’s another who is in his prime at 28 and whose value will decrease after this summer.
There hasn’t been a huge amount of paper talk regarding potential interest in the experienced centre-back, though his contract does expire at the end of the season. Goldson’s representatives and Rangers have been in negotiations for three weeks now about a new deal. If that doesn’t get done in the next week or so, expect murmurings of a potential exit to grow.
VfL Bochum and Galatasaray are two clubs reportedly tracking the Romanian international. He had a really strong campaign last term after a slow start and may looked upon as another who could stick around for another campaign, become a more dominant force in Scottish and European football and improve his value further.
Injured for all of last season but will do well to get back in contention ahead of Filip Helander (if he stays) and Leon Balogun as the preferred partner to Goldson. You wouldn’t think they’d get much more than £4m for him, though.
He may garner some interest from south of the border and, if sold, would probably bring in a decent chunk of cash, but the rampaging right-back seems settled and happy with life at the club captain at Ibrox.