Charlton Athletic will return to action later this month when the Championship resumes – but they’ll have to do it without Rangers-linked striker Lyle Taylor.
Addicks boss Lee Bowyer confirmed that Taylor is one of three players who are refusing to play again this season, admitting the 30-year-old is set for a “life-changing move.”
Taylor’s contract is up at the end of the month and reports have linked him with a move to Ibrox – the second time Bowyer will have lost a key player to Rangers after Joe Aribo’s move north 12 months ago.
“We have 15 out of contract – we’ve got six loans and nine of our own contracted players out,” Bowyer told Talksport, as quoted by the BBC.
“They finish at the end of June and, unfortunately for us, three players have said that they’re not going to play. Lyle’s one of them and that’s tough for us, that’s tough for me as the manager.
“Lyle’s a big player for us – a bit like Deeney at Watford. You know, similar situation – when he plays, we win games. Lyle has said that he’s not going to play because of risk of injury.
“He is going to get a life-changing move.
“I was saying this a few months ago when this first happened, when we were talking about the contract problem. I thought this could be a problem because I know how well Lyle has done for us.
“If it wasn’t for Lyle, we wouldn’t even be in this division. He was outstanding last season, he had a great start this season.”
At 30, Taylor’s signing would be a bit of an odd one for Rangers to make this summer – even if he’s out of contract – with Jermain Defoe and Alfredo Morelos at the club.
If Rangers do make a move for him, it’ll be interesting to see what that means for Defoe and Morelos and whether the former Falkirk striker is good enough to improve the Gers.
Losing a key player to Rangers for the second successive season is almost certain to bring an entertaining reaction from Lee Bowyer though so we could have that to look forward to later this summer.