As Preston boss Alex Neil tells Rangers to either put up or shut up in their reported pursuit of Daniel Johnson, Rangers must avoid the risk of being held to ransom.

There were claims down south that a move was imminent, with one local club insider even suggesting the Bears could fork out up to £3m for the Jamaican midfielder [Deepdale Digest].

Millwall v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship

Alex Neil wants Rangers to make a “proper offer” for Preston midfielder Daniel Johnson. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Now reports are suggesting the Gers could be expected to spend £4m if they want to land their man despite Johnson only having a year left on his contract.

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A substantial fee feels unnecessary given the Gers could easily sign the player on a pre-contract come January, even if the club need a midfielder through the door now.

Regardless of the oftentimes insane riches and transfer fees down south, for Rangers to shell out a considerable fee like this for a player in the final months of his deal would be ludicrous.

 

In English terms £4m might feel like the change down the back of the couch, in Scottish terms its an investment which could mean the difference between the league trophy or second place.

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You also have to factor into the equation the player’s age – which at 27 limits any resale value – and his experience playing top-flight football.

Johnson has none and Rangers are a considerable step up.

Preston North End v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship

£4m feels excessive for a player who has never played top-level football and who has 10 months to run on his contract. (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images,)

This is an undoubtedly talented player – although admittedly not much is known of him north of the border – who can score goals from midfield and who we’re told is the Preston talisman.

But whilst Rangers might have to increase their offer to tempt the Deepdale club to sell the player, Preston will need to lower their ransom demands or risk losing Johnson for nothing in 10 months.

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