Rangers arrived in Portugal yesterday for the start of the warm summer camp, as opposed to the Scottish rain which was greeted with mirth and mockery by Giovanni van Bronckhorst last week in particular.
As it is, the squad are now in sunnier climes and the prep for the new season properly begins.
What we really want to know is exactly who is there, and whether the big three, Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo, not to mention Borna Barisic, Calvin Bassey, Glen Kamara, Filip Helander et al are there as well.
There is a tonne of speculation around the big three, whose deals run out next summer, and they along with the latter four have been given dispensation to begin training a little later, by joining up in Portugal rather than being present at Auchenhowie last week.
Whether this means they were expected on the flight (Sakala, Davis, Middleton et al were there) is anyone’s guess, and whether they will indeed join up in Faro at all is not for us to know.
The first real friendly of the preseason gets underway this Saturday as Rangers face ‘target’ Ross Stewart’s Sunderland side in their first serious fixture of the new campaign as a Championship outfit, and we expect a bit of a better performance than the understandably rusty mess against Partick Thistle, which was of course little more than a training exercise to get the movement in the legs again.
Sunderland won’t be easy – Patrick Roberts, Stewart and Alex Pritchard in particular from the Stadium of Light show Rangers won’t have it all their own way, and we’ll be intrigued to see the starting XI from Gio, not that it really matters at this point.
What does matter is who’s in Portugal at GVB’s disposal, and time will tell if that includes the big three or any of the rest.