Rangers 'still have the budget' to add to squad this month as another January transfer on radar

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has confirmed he still has the resources to add to his squad before the end of the month as John Souttar waits to learn if his pre-contract move to the Scottish champions will be brought forward.

John Souttar in action for Hearts against his future employers Rangers during the Premiership meeting between the clubs at Tynecastle last month. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Hearts defender Souttar has signed a four-year contract with Rangers who would have to pay a fee of around £500,000 if they wish to accelerate his arrival during the current transfer window.

Van Bronckhorst has expressed his delight at the capture of the 25-year-old and, as it stands, is operating on the expectation he will join his squad in the summer.

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But with Rangers securing the club record £16 million sale of Scotland right-back Nathan Patterson to Everton earlier this month, van Bronckhorst hinted that it provides him with the opportunity to sign Souttar before the end of January.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

“There is still a transfer budget we have for this window, so we might add another player to the squad for the balance as well,” said van Bronckhorst.

“If it’s going to happen, I don’t know. We just have to wait and see how it develops. I’m happy John is joining us. He is a very good defender, Scottish international player. I also think it’s very important for us to keep our Scottish identity.

“He fits perfectly in that role. So I’m happy he will join us for the next season. We’ll have to wait to see what will still happen in this window but, as far as I know, we welcome John in the summer.

“We are happy with the move Nathan had. I think it’s a very good move for him because he joins a very strong league at a young age, so I’m really happy for Nathan. Of course, it was also good for the club because of the financial package we will receive.”

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo is on international duty with Nigeria.

Rangers return to action after the rescheduled winter break when they face Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Tuesday night.

In addition to being without Joe Aribo, who is on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Nigeria, van Bronckhorst has further midfield absences in the shape of injured duo Scott Arfield and Steven Davis.

That could mean an immediate debut for USA midfielder James Sands who has joined Rangers on an initial loan deal from New York City.

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