Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has dropped a big hint he expects a king’s ransom for his captain James Tavernier if Brighton are to step up their reported interest and submit a bid for the in-demand right back.
The fullback, signed from Wigan (also credited with an interest) in 2015, was subject to a £3M bid from West Brom this summer, which Rangers rejected, and his stock has risen since leaving Gerrard to state pretty clearly, without naming the number, that he probably wants at least £10M for the flying defender.
“I know the CEO at Brighton (Paul Barber) very well. I used to work alongside him at the FA. He’s got my number and he knows where I am. But he best go to the owners and ask for an awful lot of money if he wants James Tavernier. That goes for any CEO, any owner, any club that wants my captain. They best go to the bank and get an awful lot of money out – or he’s not going. I would be surprised if teams don’t come (for Tavernier) because he’s been absolutely fabulous for me. Every player has their price but if the price is not right then he does not go anywhere. He stays as my captain. All my players are for sale. Let’s get it out in the open. Every single one of my players is for sale. They have all got a price. But they are not the old prices. It’s the new prices. So if you want them then come with loads of money and you can have them.”
This is a thinly veiled dig at the likes of letting Declan John, Barrie McKay and Josh Windass go for well below what Rangers could and should have got for them, and Rangers’ manager evidently won’t tolerate this any longer.
With summer bids in the multimillions for Alfredo Morelos and Tavernier already rejected, Rangers’ board are finally starting to put their money where Gerrard’s mouth is, and it seems prize assets will not be sold for a penny less than they are deemed to be worth.
Tavernier, of course, signed a new deal recently, which hiked his value further – and it is evident anything significantly less than £10M will be rejected.
So if Brighton want to clinch their man this January, they’ll need to open the wallet big time.