Saturday, 11 August 2018

Rangers linked with surprise move for Steven Caulker

Rangers have been linked with a shock move for Dundee centre-back Steven Caulker as the summer spending looks set to continue.
It’s been a summer of tremendous change at Ibrox, and that’s not even including the manager and coaching team. The appointment of Steven Gerrard has ushered in a new era at Rangers but few expected such a major overhaul in the playing personnel. So far, eleven new players have joined the club on either permanent or loan deals with another thirteen heading for the exit door.
After a relatively quiet May, Rangers went on something of a splurge with the additions of Nikola Katic, Connor Goldson, Jon Flanagan and Ovie Ejaria all arriving within the space of a couple of weeks. Lassana Coulibaly, Umar Sadiq and Ryan Kent followed in July and on Tuesday Rangers completed their eleventh signing of the window with the acquisition of Borna Barišić from the Croatian side, NK Osijek.
“We knew the player, and as soon as we were drawn against Osijek in the competition, I had a couple of conversations with [Nikola Katic] and I also spoke in good detail to Dejan Lovren and he made it very clear their main threat was Borna,” Gerrard said during his press conference on Wednesday.
“I think the club have performed very well in the last few days in terms of getting that signing in the door very quickly, and the reason being was we had to act very quickly as there were very many teams chasing his services, and that goes to show what type of player we have brought through the door.”

With so many players coming in, the outgoings have been equally as numerous. Kenny Miller, David Bates and Eduardo Herrera are amongst the highest profile names on the list but they could soon be joined by another. Captain James Tavernier is the club’s top scorer so far this season and has been amongst the best performers, which is perhaps why he has attracted interest from the Premier League.
Brighton & Hove Albion have reportedly been tracking Tavernier for some time and tested Rangers’ resolve with a bid for the player. The Premier League transfer window closed on Thursday which led to this late rush to sign the player who joined Rangers back in 2015.
In the short-term, this isn’t a major problem for Gerrard. Jon Flanagan could have slotted into his favoured right-back position while new signing Borna Barišić can play at left-back. The deal would, however, have freed up funds for another transfer deal and it appears as if Gerrard is keen to improve his defence yet again.
Reports suggest that both Rangers and Leeds United are now considering a £1.5 million offer for Dundee defender Steven Caulker. The Tottenham Hotspur youth product has had a remarkably turbulent career for a player still so young. His early breakthroughs came during loan spells at Bristol City and Cardiff City before Caulker made a permanent move across London to Queens Park Rangers.
The centre-back lost his good form on the field but faced even more problems off it. In the summer of 2017, Caulker opened up to The Guardian about his problems with mental illness and gambling addiction. He has been receiving treatment ever since and has since gotten his football career back on track. Caulker has been performing well for Dundee since joining the club in February but would be a surprising deal for Rangers.
Steven Gerrard hasn’t been scared to change things up at Ibrox. The former Liverpool captain has overhauled the playing staff with the defence an area of major change. Rangers outscored Celtic in the league last season but conceded twice as many goals which will have to change if they are to be successful this year. The Scottish Premiership title may be a step too far in Gerrard’s first season but perhaps there is an opportunity for success in the Scottish FA Cup. Rangers are the joint 6/1 second-favourites to lift the Cup next May onBetway as of 8 August but in order to do that, things will have to improve defensively.
And Steven Caulker could be instrumental to that. It was Steven Gerrard actually assisted Caulker when the defender grabbed a goal on his one and only England appearance back in November 2012. Now could be a good opportunity for Caulker to return the favour and help his former captain achieve success in his first season as a manager.

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