As Ibrox Noise brought you exclusively yesterday (before the media widely stole it), Jack Butland is inching in towards a move to Rangers, with the England international, once worth £20M, seeking a fresh challenge away from the Premier League and a restart to his career.
Widely seen as a fitting replacement for Allan McGregor, Rangers have been on his trail for a very long time, the story first surfacing with fervour in the last window, but Ibrox chiefs have now initiated proper discussions with him and on looking at fellow ex-England international Joe Hart’s success at Celtic Park, Butland feels Rangers is the right place for him now.
There’s no question Rangers’ English managerial system is a big part here – the likes of Michael Beale and his southern-based assistants make it much easier for the club to secure talent from England, given it’s a market they know and know well.
Butland would be regarded as the most impressive start to Rangers’ summer work, and a most suitable number one, but of course it would leave Robby McCrorie in no uncertain terms that he’s never going to be number one himself.
As for Jon McLaughlin, we’d be thrilled to see him mutual consent, but he strikes us as the type quite happy to sit out his later football years on the kind of wage on Rangers’ moronic board would give him, so we doubt he’d actually be content to walk away.
But Butland is the story for now, the Crystal Palace stopper, on loan at Man Utd, ready now to completely change his career and get a move to a proper big club.
His spell with Stoke in the Premier League was definitely the most productive of his career, and it led to those England caps no less. And clearly he’s good enough to fill Rangers’ sticks and Allan McGregor’s massive void.
This one should be over the line fairly soon, because, of course, he’s free to finalise a deal ASAP being a Bosman in the summer.
A very lucrative deal, and the kind of signing Rangers need to get anywhere near back to where we should be.
A good start.