Michael Beale has been chatting a lot in the press this weekend, leading to tomorrow’s crunch clash with third-place Aberdeen, but among the comments to gain so much traction (and confusion) was his curious admission that aside Alfredo Morelos and Allan McGregor, everyone who played v St Mirren last weekend will be remaining at Ibrox.
As Ibrox Noise postulated recently, this is a very bold claim to make, so let’s have a look at what it means, assuming he’s correct.
The full squad to feature was Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin, James Tavernier, John Souttar, Ben Davies, Borna Barisic, John Lundstram, Nico Raskin, Todd Cantwell, Fashion Sakala, Malik Tillman, Alfredo Morelos, Ianis Hagi, Rabbi Matondo, Glen Kamara, Scotty Arfield, and a few youngsters.
Beale’s specific wording was that every player who played in that match would be staying at Rangers, aside McGregor and Morelos, which means, apparently, that he’s happy with the rest of the squad who started or got on.
But to make the claim that all of them are remaining is a curious thing to say, because Michael Beale cannot promise it.
The big six nuggets to take from this are the exits of McGregor and Morelos, the keeping of Glen Kamara, the potential exit of Jon McLaughlin, a new deal for Scotty Arfield and the signing of Malik Tillman permanently.
It also suggests Rangers aren’t interested in selling Ianis Hagi, and that Borna is one to keep too.
But Beale’s comments were careless. He’s made a huge rod for his own back by stating that all of those players, Morelos and McGregor aside, will remain at Ibrox and that’s that.
The oddity is Beale is not accounting for big bids coming in – he’s talking as if no one will be interested in Barisic, or Kamara, or that any bids received will be rejected. It’s an extremely strange angle to take.
Is this once again Beale hurling red herrings into the press? We think this is a case of the manager saying too much and committing mild folly with some of his comments.
But… if it’s all true, Morelos and McGregor are gone, Kent appears to be as well, ditto McLaughlin and Jack, while Tillman, Barisic and Kamara will all stay. Some of that doesn’t even make sense, given McLaughlin would have to agree to mutual consent, while Kamara desperately wants his move and hardly plays.
We also sense a lot of Rangers fans don’t favour the reported £6M it will cost to sign Tillman permanently.
In short, it was either a stupid comment and he’s definitely slipped up with this one – or he’s thrown genius muck into the system to throw us all off the scent.
Who could possibly know?