Price set for in-demand Rangers target as Euro rivals launch bid - report
CAIRO, EGYPT - JUNE 23: BAGHDAD BOUNEDJAH of Algeria and JOSEPH STANLEY OKUMU of Kenya during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match between Algeria and Kenya at 30th June Stadium on June 23, 2019 in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Visionhaus)

Price set for in-demand Rangers target as Euro rivals launch bid - report

Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims have reportedly launched a bid for Elfsborg’s Kenyan centre-back Joseph Okumu as his price is set amid links to Rangers.

The big defender, 23, is reportedly hot property ahead of the summer transfer window and Rangers were first linked by the Swedish press.

Stade de Reims have reportedly launched a move for Rangers-linked Elfsborg centre-back as his current side set a price for the defender. (Photo by David Lidstrom/Getty Images)

Aftonbladet claimed that Rangers had one eye on the defender amid reported Premier League interest in centre-back Filip Helander.

That report claims that the likes of Aston Villa and Leicester City are monitoring Big Fil ahead of next season.

Footballskanalen then claimed that Rangers would face stiff competition for the player’s signature with Serie A Napoli, La Liga Valencia and Ligue 1 Nice also reportedly interested.

Now, according to a report in Sweden via Expressen, Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims are now said to have launched a £1.75m (€2m) bid for the defender.

However, that report claims the bid has been kicked into the long grass with the Swedish outfit holding out for £3.5m (€4m) for the defender.

The defender’s reputation is continuing to rise and Rangers will be monitoring these reports closely if there is any substance too them.

One of the defender’s Elfsborg teammates – Johan Larsson – believes the player is so good he has similar attributes to £75m Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.

The defender has been compared to Ex-Celtic and now Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“He has similar qualities (to Virgil van Dijk). So it is not a stupid comparison, but it is also a tough comparison to live up to,” said Larsson [Fotboll Skanalen].

“Yes, he is (too good for Sweden’s top flight). And he improves all the time. It is clear he has become better and also wiser tactically.

“It’s great (to play alongside Okumu). He is sharp at finding his way into the spaces and starting our attacks.

“He is important for our game plan and also incredibly fast and skilled defensively in one-on-one situations.

Joseph Okumu also has nine caps for the Kenyan national team. (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)

“And then he has a very good passing range. I really think he is underestimated. He does his job 100 per cent and requires no pat on the back for it. That is his role – and he handles it brilliantly.”

It’s not just the player’s teammates who highly rate the Kenyan international either – the Elfsborg sporting director claims he’s the best centre-half to ever play in Sweden.