In a potential transfer blow for Rangers, Stoke City are reportedly in ‘pole position’ to sign Ibrox-linked Hearts defender John Souttar [Lancs Live].

Rangers have been linked with Souttar on and off for some time.

Rangers Stoke City John Souttar
(Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

He’s had his injury problems since joining the Jambos from Dundee United in 2016 but is arguably in the form of his career right now and is back involved with Scotland.

The Scottish Sun reported last month that the Gers and Celtic were both keen on a swoop, with his contract is up at the end of the season.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

However, the Daily Record previously warned that the 25-year-old was more likely to move to England than stay in Scotland and it now seems that a deal with an EFL Championship club is nearing.

A number of English second-tier sides are thought to be in the race, but Lancs Live report that it’s Stoke who are in pole position.

Stoke City v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Rangers may have to look elsewhere

Rangers need to strengthen at centre-back at some point in the near future, with Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun’s contracts up at the end of the season, Jack Simpson struggling to make the grade at Ibrox and Filip Helander injury-prone.

Souttar looked an excellent candidate to come in and bolster the defence.

He’s a good age, has Premiership and international experience, and is available for nothing in the summer.

It looks like the Gers will miss out on him, though, so other options need to be explored.

Another centre-back who has been regularly linked with a move to Ibrox is Vitesse skipper Danilho Doekhi and Gio van Bronckhorst’s contacts in the Netherlands could help finally get a deal over the line.

Meanwhile, sources close to Borna Barisic have confirmed contact from a Premier League club, according to a report.

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