With all the signings Rangers have made this January window, fans could have been forgiven for thinking a little less about potential outgoings. Sure, the likes of Alfredo Morelos, James Tavernier et all always surface in such talk at these times, but the past 24 hours has seen Greg Docherty dramatically linked with a move out as well.
Obviously, the midfielder is currently on loan at League One Shrewsbury, but news has broken that a clutch of Championship sides are looking at gaining his services, with two of the most notable so far being Hull and Rotherham.
This is obviously early news, but the fact that a number of England’s second tier sides are looking to bring him in after impressing so much for the Shrews does suggest a permanent signing rather than just a loan – it’s not often there’s a ‘bidding war’ for a loan acquisition, after all.
No, this would look more like a bidding war to secure his contract long term, and Docherty for his part would be completely justified in the move.
We know he’s a Bear and all he wants is to play at Ibrox for his team, but fate appears to have decreed that isn’t going to happen, at least not this season, and while assistant manager Gary McAllister was in attendance to watch his latest display, nevertheless we don’t see Stevie G changing his mind with regards Docherty’s place at Ibrox.
As for a fee, if it is a permanent – well Rangers don’t need to sell him, and having paid around £700,000 for him would be looking for a significant profit, especially in light of more than one club seeking to bring him in. And that club being at the wealthy Championship only increases the amount Rangers could command.
If it is a loan, then if Docherty excels in the second top tier down south in a manner similar to how he has in the third, then his not returning in the summer would suggest he will never be part of SG’s plans and we would truly give up on a change of heart on the part of the manager.
As big fans of his, we would be disappointed of course, but if we’re sitting on 55 or having at least made a far better fist of it for the rest of this season, the manager would be the one justified in that call.
Nevertheless though, we will be fascinated to see how well Docherty can deliver in the Championship if he finds himself there this year, loan or permanent notwithstanding.