Rangers' out-of-contract players: Three to leave, three in balance, three new offers - what's coming at Ibrox

No fewer than nine members of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first team squad are entering the final six months of their current contracts and will be free to speak to other clubs in January.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor will be 40 in January but remains firmly established as the Ibrox club's first choice number one. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor will be 40 in January but remains firmly established as the Ibrox club's first choice number one. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Allan McGregor

The former Scotland goalkeeper will celebrate his 40th birthday at the end of January but has shown with some of his recent performances that he remains at the peak of his powers. McGregor’s future was the subject of speculation for most of last season as he pondered whether to continue pushing his body through the demands placed on him as Rangers’ number one. He eventually signed a new one-year deal in the summer and, based on current form, new Ibrox boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst may want to extend it again at the end of this season. Much will depend on whether McGregor himself wishes to carry on playing. Verdict: In the balance.

Jon McLaughlin

Veteran midfielder Steven Davis was Scotland's Player of the Year last season and has been in fine form again for Rangers during the current campaign. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

SInce being signed on a free transfer from Sunderland in the summer of 2020, McLaughlin has proved an able deputy for Allan McGregor. The 34-year-old Scotland squad ‘keeper may not produce the kind of ‘X factor’ saves so regularly conjured up by McGregor but his reliability is underlined by a record of 16 clean sheets in the 22 games he has played for Rangers so far. McLaughlin still has plenty of mileage left in his career and may feel more regular first team action could come his way. Verdict: Offered new contract.

Andy Firth

Former Liverpool youth team goalkeeper Firth was brought to Rangers from then English National League outfit Barrow by Steven Gerrard in January 2019. So far, he has made just one competitive first team appearance – as a late substitute for Wes Foderingham in the final league match of the 2018-19 season against Kilmarnock. Firth signed a new one-year deal in April this year but has been firmly superseded by Robbie McCrorie in the pecking order at Ibrox. Verdict: No new contract offer.

Connor Goldson

Scott Arfield is in the final season of the four-year contract he signed when he joined Rangers in the summer of 2018. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

English central defender Goldson’s contract situation has developed into something of a saga which, at times, has been an unwelcome distraction both for the player himself and Rangers. New boss van Bronckhorst has admitted he ‘doesn’t have a clue’ whether Goldson will sign a new deal and extend his stay with the Scottish champions. The 28-year-old has been one of Rangers’ most effective and consistent performers since joining from Brighton in 2018 but may now be hankering after a return to the English Premier League at a time of his career when his earning potential is probably at its highest. Verdict: Likely to leave at end of season.

Leon Balogun

Signed on an initial one-year contract when he joined on a free transfer from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2020, Balogun’s consistency in last season’s title-winning campaign triggered a clause which earned him a one-year extension to that deal. The 33-year-old Nigerian international defender has generally performed well again for Rangers this season but it remains to be seen whether he is a longer term part of van Bronckhorst’s plans. With Filip Helander still absent through injury and Nikola Katic continuing his rehabilitation on loan at Hajduk Split, Rangers are relatively limited in terms of options in central defence. Verdict: In the balance.

Steven Davis

Northern Ireland captain Davis will be 37 on New Year’s Day and is one of the older cohort of players whose contract situations will be assessed by Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson at the end of the season. Davis may be used more sparingly in the coming months by van Bronckhorst, who left him out of Saturday’s league match against Dundee to ease his workload, but he remains one of the most influential and effective midfielders currently operating in Scottish football. On the evidence of his form so far this season, there appears to be no reason why he should not extend his stay at Ibrox for at least another year. Verdict: Offered new contract.

Scott Arfield

Canadian international midfielder Arfield is in the final season of the four-year contract he signed when he joined Rangers on a free transfer from Burnley as one of Steven Gerrard’s first signings in 2018. Arfield turned 33 last month and although he has not been a regular in the starting line-up this season, he continues to make a positive contribution whenever called upon. The early indications of van Bronckhorst’s tenure suggest that Arfield’s energy and ability to make well-timed forward runs are well suited to the style of play the Dutch coach is introducing at the club. Verdict: Offered new contract

Brandon Barker

Signed on a three-year deal from Manchester City at the start of the 2019-20 season, Barker has never looked likely to establish himself as a first team regular at Rangers. The 25-year-old has not featured since making a substitute appearance against Motherwell at Fir Park in January this year and has rarely even been included in the matchday squad at all this season. It seems inevitable that the winger’s time at Rangers is coming to an end and that could even happen in the January transfer window. Verdict: Likely to leave.

Jermain Defoe

The former England striker was handed a one-year contract extension in June this year on terms which saw Steven Gerrard also bring him onto his backroom staff with responsibility for coaching the other forwards at the club. Van Bronckhorst’s arrival saw him bring Roy Makaay with him to fill that role, meaning Defoe is again employed solely in a playing capacity. The 39-year-old has made just two substitute appearances so far this season but van Bronckhorst feels he still has a valuable contribution to make on the pitch in the coming weeks and months. Beyond the end of the campaign, however, it is uncertain whether Defoe’s own ambitions to go into coaching can be accommodated by staying at Rangers. Verdict: In the balance.

Read More

Read More
Rangers 'bemused and frustrated' as fans banned from Lyon game in French governm...

A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.