Rangers are closing in on the surprise signing of former Old Firm mutual target José Cifuentes after the Ecuadorian became reportedly the club’s top priority midfield signing, with a stunning market value of around £12M.
In a major transfer story, the current Los Angeles FC midfielder was set to leave the MLS for Ibrox while in the last 6 months of his current deal, with Rangers to pay a nominal transfer fee to release him early.
The 15-time Ecuador cap has been a bit of a sleeper signing, one of many players Rangers are on the trail of as Michael Beale looks to seriously work on his squad, well in the knowledge that many of his players are to leave.
But this one has rather come out of the blue, four years after Steven Gerrard pulled out of a move for him, leaving Celtic to gobble the player up, which didn’t end up happening:
Four years later and he’s still in the MLS, and he’s been maturing as a man as well, and it now seems Rangers are to secure him.
So ‘who does he replace’? Well, in Rangers’ squad Michael Beale is seeking to shore up midfield. Todd Cantwell and Nicolas Raskin are of course the main two men, but we need more – a strong holding midfielder of the ilk of John Lundtram/Glen Kamara/Ryan Jack but when all were at their peak – which is NOT what Cifuentes is. He’s box to box, like the way Jack now is, but younger, so it looks like Cifuentes, if this one gets over the line, will replace Jacko and the Scotland man will become squad depth.
Which we’re fine with, Jack cannot be relied on long-term, while this lad looks like a young and strong addition to the squad.
But, as with it all, we’ll see if the sources are bang on with this one or it’s yet more red herrings.