Rangers’ pursuit of £12M James Tavernier successor ‘back on’

Rangers’ pursuit of £12M James Tavernier successor ‘back on’
West Ham United's English defender #02 Ben Johnson (L) and West Ham United's English striker #18 Danny Ings (R) speak as they walk around the pitch prior to the English FA Cup third round replay football match between Bristol City and West Ham United at the Ashton Gate Stadium, in Bristol on January 16, 2024. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ibrox Noise understands Rangers’ pursuit of West Ham’s departing right back Ben Johnson may not be dead in the water, as the club pursues a replacement for aging captain James Tavernier.

The club is well-known to have held talks with Johnson, 24, in recent weeks, but it had been viewed that his wages might be an issue and West Ham were interested in keeping him after all – there are conflicting reports about their willingness to meet his wage demands.

There were also rivals from the Premier League, particularly Crystal Palace, interested in taking the £12M-rated RB to Selhurst Park, and he is very much a lucrative free transfer this summer.

But his interest in Rangers is not finished, with sources close to the player suggesting he has not made a final decision by any means, with his current wage a modest £35,000. Those are numbers Rangers can work with, but of course other PL rivals can likely rather eclipse them, and West Ham are said to be unwilling to.

In terms of the player himself, he’s top quality – he is a PL-level talent with 69 appearances and while not an assist or goals king like Tavernier, he is solid – he is also a one-player club having only ever known West Ham – he has many appearances in the Europa and Conference Leagues.

This could be the successor Rangers need for Tavernier – if Rangers want to up their level, to step up in quality, a Premier League quality player is paramount, and Johnson most definitely is.

The question is, are Rangers able or willing to pay the man what he would want?

That’s one for the board.

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