With Rangers’ plunging around £4M into the signing of Filip Helander, fans might be forgiven for thinking the summer budget is being stretched a touch.
That said, we are rather happy here at Ibrox Noise at seeing so many decent players acquired for so little, while the marquee signings begin up for the big money later – but if Rangers supporters had worried the spending would stop there, we’d suggest otherwise.
Speculation remains rife over Alfredo Morelos’ future, and after various sources said he had gone to London to speak with both Crystal Palace and West Ham, while bids in the region of £15M plus addons had been mentioned, it became abundantly clear that if/when the Colombian is sold, the cash his sale generates will go straight back into the playing squad giving Steven Gerrard potentially three, maybe four more excellent players to budget for.
In short, while the past two summers saw £10M spent each under Pedro Caixinha then Stevie G last time around, there were no big-money sales to help that at all – the basic budget remained that £10M which didn’t have a hope in hell of challenging Celtic.
Now, with the very serious possibility Alfredo will be sold for a number approaching £20M, Gerrard will have almost two full months to use that cash and sign the likes of Kemar Roofe etc – players who will not come cheap but will finally arrive given the manager’s serious hard cash he would now have at his disposal.
And that’s the kind of budget he just won’t get without selling.
The plan this season was to get as many frees and low-cost players as possible, who would still be of the level required, to replace the dead wood in the squad. Now that Gerrard has mostly done that, the next stage is to use the usual £10M to acquire two, maybe three top players. Filip Helander appears to be the first. And one maybe two others could follow.
However, to go any further, to get any more beyond this needs the sale – it’s not critical to sell Morelos, but the money really would give Gerrard a major warchest.
So, whether Morelos stays or goes Rangers do seem to have a significantly superior squad and first XI to last season’s – but if the sale of the Colombian can be reached for a good number, suddenly Rangers are genuine title contenders.
If they aren’t already.