So the big breaking news is Rangers have signed Ecuador’s Jose Cifuentes. The bigger news is that it’s, at this point, a precontract.
So, just for argument’s sake, what does this mean.
It means, purely and simply, that Cifuentes is a Rangers player – that we have secured a potentially world-class midfielder worth around £15M and he will definitely be joining us.
The catch is the same issue that saw Rangers battle with Hearts over John Souttar, the same one which had us in negotiations with both Bournemouth and Aberdeen over Jack Simpson and Scott Wright respectively;
Rangers are now battling over a fee with LAFA to free Cifuentes now, and have him join Rangers before December.
All red tape sorted, all issues ratified – it’s now a pure case of agreeing a fee.
Rangers have tried to offer £1.5M, a 10th of Cifuentes’ market value, but despite it being last 6 months of his deal, LAFC are not accepting that. They would rather let the boy go for free in December than accept a fee they believe is rather derisory.
This is nose to spite one’s face and all that, and in fairness, Rangers have committed this nonsense too – refusing to let a big value player go for a nominal fee based on last 6 months. Instead, we’ve let the deal run down. We’ve also been the victim many times.
So we’re absolutely not judging LAFC for trying to get a bigger chunk of cash for a great player, a valuable player.
It looks like they want closer to £5M for the midfielder, and as things stand, that’s money Rangers cannot afford, unless it’s based on addons and appearances.
So, as things are, Cifuentes will stay in LA till essentially next year, but the reassurance is that he has signed a precontract and will definitely be a Rangers player by January.
It’s just seeing if something can be done to get it over the line now and bring him to Govan pronto.
It didn’t work with John Souttar, but did with Wright and Simpson. We’ll see which way this one goes.