Jake Cooper is another player, out of contract this summer, who would be a sterling addition to Ibrox, with Michael Beale credited with interest in the Millwall colossus who’s valued at around £5M at the Den, and hasn’t quite made the big step up to major leagues, having spent the massive bulk of his career in England’s Championship.
Asked in January if he was still interested in Cooper, Beale did say the giant defender was ‘not on my radar’ but Rangers most definitely bid for him four years ago under Beale and ex-manager Steven Gerrard, and Beale has now since admitted a new defender is of interest to him.
In fact, only two days after claiming Cooper wasn’t on his radar, Beale then said on the 29th:
With Cooper a free agent this summer, and still at a healthy 28 years of age, he’d be an excellent Bosman to secure, but of course, is free to talk to any club as of the 1st of January. Has Beale’s position on Cooper changed?
We suspect it has – he needs a good defender back there, and while we know he’s not a fan of the Niko Katic Calvin Bassey style of physical and imposing stopper, Rangers’ defence needs at least one of those types because at present we have nothing but ball-players back there.
And yes, that fits Beale’s style, but in the long term, a strapping tubthumper back there would be extremely welcome, and Cooper appears to be that kind of defender – a strong, ‘no-nonsense’ defender in the guise of those more physically-accomplished guys.
But we reckon the reality is Beale isn’t into that style so much so he’d seek more composed ball-playing defenders, ones with good passing and dribbling, rather than a big and strong cannonball – he has an eye on Cooper but would likely prefer another Goldson.
Beale said on the 27th that Cooper wasn’t on his radar, but who knows if that’s still the case. A free signing, and he’s a good defender.
Maybe now is the time to bring him in.