Rangers’ reported transfer interest in Schalke goalkeeper Martin Fraisl could well be bad news for Ibrox Academy graduate Robby McCrorie.
The Gers were linked with Fraisl earlier this week by the Daily Mail, with Norwich also said to be monitoring the Austrian.
Aged 28, the keeper has been something of a journeyman thus far in his career, but he’s recently established himself at Schalke – a big club at a low ebb – playing their last 14 Bundesliga 2. matches and keeping five clean sheets.
It’s suggested that Rangers are considering snapping him up on a free in the summer after his contract expires.
Such a swoop would only make sense if 40-year-old Allan McGregor hangs up his gloves at the end of the season, a decision that looks likely but hasn’t yet been confirmed.
But even if McGregor does retire and Andy Firth doesn’t receive an extension, there will still be two keepers left at the club in Jon McLaughlin – who recently signed a new deal – and McCrorie.
Possible Rangers swoop for Schalke star ominous for McCrorie
McCrorie has long been touted as a future Ibrox no.1 and he did extremely well when thrust into the side in August amid a Covid outbreak for high-pressure matches against Alashkert and Celtic.
However, he hasn’t featured since.
The 23-year-old made the bench for the Scottish Cup win over Stirling Albion last month but he’s very clearly third choice right now and will almost certainly still be behind McLaughlin in the pecking order next season if McGregor packs it in.
A move for Fraisl would suggest that Rangers don’t believe McCrorie is good enough to be the permanent no.2 at Ibrox.
Given how much he impressed during his two outings earlier in the season, most Bears would contest that notion, but it’s unlikely that the club would bring a keeper in from Schalke just to be third choice.
Particularly when there are other promising young stoppers coming through the Academy ranks like 18-year-old Jay Hogarth, who has spent time training with the first-team this season and has played regularly for the B Team in the Lowland League.
It’ll be interesting to see how Rangers play this going forward, with their transfer activity or lack of it in the goalkeeping department likely to be a strong indication of the coaching staff’s level of confidence in McCrorie.