Mark Allen, Rangers’ director of football, believes the reshaping of the Ibrox squad is well under way, with negotiations with signing targets in progress and those surplus to requirements being told they are no longer wanted.
Scott Arfield became the first signing of the Steven Gerrard era on Monday and Allen says the former Burnley midfielder is an indication of the level of player they are seeking to bring in. Arfield was followed yesterday by the return of 36-year-old goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who has signed a two-year contract.
Allen has also revealed that discussions have begun with Nottingham Forest to sign Jason Cummings permanently and also with Brighton and Hove Albion over Jamie Murphy’s full-time switch.
Rangers have been linked with Gerrard’s former Liverpool team-mate Martin Skrtel as well as West Ham United’s 21-year-old defender Reece Burke.
Allen said: “We need people that can handle the pressure, people that can play in the shirt – understand what it means to play in the shirt.
“The higher level you are able to attract the more chance you have of getting players [who are used to] playing in front of big crowds where they are in focus. We have to find a certain pedigree of player to play for Rangers. I think Scott Arfield fits that bill more than adequately.
“Steven and I both said when he was unveiled that work starts straightaway. I appraised him during the interview process and we started to talk about some of the targets then.
“He is fully aware of all the targets and has rubber stamped the direction we are going. We’re exactly on the same page, 100 per cent.
“There is ongoing dialogue with Forest [over Cummings], but it’s early days. I’m confident that Jamie will become a Glasgow Rangers player, but we’re not quite there yet. I need to sit down with Steven and go through every single thing in detail, we’re doing everything on the telephone at the moment because he’s not here.”
Allen has already let some players know that their futures lie elsewhere. Several are expected to depart including Eduardo Herrera, Michael O’Halloran, Lee Hodson, Joe Dodoo, Andy Halliday, Russell Martin, Bruno Alves, Dalcio. The future of suspended pair Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace will also have to be resolved. They were banned after an bust-up with former manager Graeme Murty following the heavy Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Celtic last month.
Allen added: “We’ve told some players to go away and digest, and their representatives to go away and look at alternatives that they may or may not have. Then, there will be an appropriate time to talk about who may be leaving and staying, and I don’t think that is now.”
Miller is out of contract, but Wallace still has a year left and Gerrard may decide wants to keep him. Allen said: “Steven and I haven’t spoken about that specifically, we’re just talking in general at the moment in terms of shape, system of play and potential players etc.”