Ryan Gauld hails Rangers targets Bruno Alves & Fabio Cardoso

The Portuguese influence in Scottish football could be ratcheted up several notches after the coming and goings this summer. Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has said that he will operate in the markets he knows best as he embarks on the mammoth task of completely remaking the Ibrox squad to improve upon their distant third place finish in the Premiership this season.

Rangers target Bruno Alves arrived in Glasgow yesterday. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

That means he will pursue players from his homeland, Caixinha already linked with half a dozen of them. That is a market Scotland under-21 forward Ryan Gauld knows well after making his footballing home there with Sporting in Lisbon three summers ago.

Veteran Bruno Alves, right, a non-playing member of Portugal’s triumphant Euro 2016 squad, seems to be on his way from Cagliari. He could be partnered in central defence by with Fabio Cardoso. The 23-year-old is reported to be a target for Rangers in being available for £1m from Vitoria de Sebutal. Having spent the first half of the season with the mid-table Portuguese club, Gauld is well placed to assess the suitability of Cardoso for the role that his countryman Caixinha would task him.

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“He’s a very good defender,” said the former Dundee
United man. “He played most of the games in the six months I was there. First and foremost, he is a good defender – he knows how to defend. After that he is very comfortable on the ball. Rangers are a team that’s going to want possession all the time and build from the back. That’s one of his strong points I would say. I think he’s got all the attributes to fit in.”

Especially if he has 37-year-old by his side. “I think it would definitely benefit him if he had Bruno Alves beside him. It would benefit anyone to play beside him. He has been around his fair share of clubs and also played regularly at international level. If Rangers can get both of them I think 
it would be a very good partnership.

“One of the big things in Portugal is tactics. They are very good. They know where 
to be on the pitch and they 
have very good game knowledge. They’re all comfortable on the ball. You can’t play in that league unless you’re decent on the ball.”