Another transfer window, another Rangers target on his way to Celtic. With four days left of the January transfer window, Rangers manager Walter Smith HAS to find at least one player to bring in to the Ibrox squad for the season run-in.
It is getting extremely old that our biggest rivals feel the need to take on near enough any player we declare an interest in. Celtic’s most recent “achievement” it seems is the £300,000 signing of Derby County winger Kris Commons, after it emerged the £15,000-a-week offer from the champions was not good enough for Commons as Celtic offered £20,000 in wages.
Steven Pressley, John Hartson, Paul Hartley, Derek Riordan, Giorgios Samaras, Scott McDonald, Scott Brown, Glenn Loovens, Joe Ledley. A list off the top of my head of the players that we have shown an interest in purchasing, only for Celtic to come along with more money and capture the player themselves.
Why are they doing this you ask? I honestly don’t know. Peter Lawwell is behind these tactics I suspect. Perhaps they are still bitter that we stopped them bringing Mo Johnston back and that he actually pulled on a Royal Blue shirt.
Commons was Smith’s only public target this month, as the rest have been paper and messageboard talk. The player would have been a decent addition and one that would give us Rangers supporters a bit more optimism that we can handle the amount of fixtures coming our way with victories.
After the embarassing four-hundred grand sale of our top goalscorer Kenny Miller to Turkish champions Bursaspor, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that we desperately need a striker to partner the classy Nikica Jelavic. The Croatian has shown to the supporters that he will be one of our best players this season but he needs a partner up front who can not only set him up with goals but score a good few himself.
Unless another top team star leaves for a big fee, we would only have the money recieved from Bursaspor and the wages freed up from Miller leaving (thought to be around £20,000-a-week) due to the bank running the club’s finances to a tee. We really need a striker to partner Jelavic and a defender brought in for cover.
One such forward which I believe Rangers should consider is David Goodwillie. Dundee United rejected a £500,000 offer earlier in the month and apparently value the Scottish international at the £1million mark. Obviously we do not have the extra funds to finance the move, however a bit of shrewd negotiating from our chief exec Martin Bain wouldn’t go a miss. Andy Webster was on-loan last season at Tannadice and became captain having played nearly every game. A £400,000 offer attached with Webster going the opposite direction could coax chairman Stephen Thompson into doing a deal.
Of course, there is another huge issue to consider. Goodwillie is a hot prospect on the pitch but off it he has been accused of raping a woman at a house party in West Lothian on Hogmanay. The outcome of this has yet been decided and with only four days left, it is extremely unlikely that Rangers would make a move for someone who is involved in such a high-profile criminal investigation.
That leaves Rangers with limited options. Adam Rooney and Conor Sammon are at the top of the SPL scoring charts but in my opinion lack the ability to become a scoring legend at Rangers. A quick glance at the Championship and you see that Commons, with 13 goals, is near the top. Smith has already ruled out a loan move to bring back goal king Kris Boyd from his Middlesbrough hell, as the Gers would not be able to compensate the Scotland forward’s £25,000-a-week wages.
Perhaps this late in the transfer window a better option for us would be to pursue getting a striker on loan. The Miller wages combined with the £400,000 fee should be used to find a top-quality loan purchase that would excite the red, white and blue half of Glasgow. Surely a phone call to Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger asking for one of their forward’s on loan for the rest of the seson would do no harm? The current top-two in England will have plenty of forwards who want match time and Smith can present them with that opportunity on a domestic and European stage.
If Smith fails to bring in any replacement for Miller, Kyle Lafferty will have to step up to the mantel at Ibrox. This season the Ulsterman has shown more signs that any other season that he has the ability to live up to his £3.75million price tag when he was bought from Burnley. A hat-trick against Dunfermline Athletic in the League Cup has been his highlight, but he has shown a good touch and the ability to go by players this season which is promising for Rangers. He has a good amount of pace on him and of course height! James Beattie hasn’t showed anything to take note of since joining from Stoke City in the summer and a front two of Jelavic and Lafferty seems the best option open to Smith at this time.