Rangers’ hopes of signing free-agent goalkeeper Jack Butland following his exit Premier League outfit Crystal Palace have suffered a blow with the England international reportedly ‘too expensive’.
It’s a trap we are guilty of falling into at times. Whenever we hear that a player is now a ‘free-agent’, we can sometimes forget that the absence of a transfer fee does not necessarily make the player in question ‘affordable’.
That would put the Manchester United loanee up there with the highest earners at Ibrox, and the Daily Mail believes that – while contact between Butland and Rangers is still very much ongoing – the former Birmingham City, Leeds United and Stoke City ‘keeper remains a little on the expensive side.
Rangers could miss out on Jack Butland
It is not uncommon, meanwhile, for the agents of unemployed players to demand their next club stump up a sizeable ‘signing-on fee’ in lieu of any transfer sum.
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It’s unlikely that Rangers would be able to merely add Butland to their squad without having to pay any sort of a premium for 30-year-old glovesman in his prime, with Premier League and international experience on his CV.
Of course, Butland could accept a wage cut in order to make him more affordable to a Rangers side operating on a restricted budget. He’s made only nine league appearances since the start of 2020/21. Perhaps, like former team-mate and now-Celtic ace Joe Hart, Butland would be willing to put guaranteed game-time over his financial prospects.
Fabrizio Romano reports that, when Hart swapped Tottenham Hotspur for Celtic two years ago, he accepted a 50 per cent drop in salary.
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The Mail, meanwhile, reports that Rangers are now scouring the market for potential alternatives. The Glasgow giants watched 23-year-old Ivor Pandur in action during Fortuna Sittard’s 2-1 Eredivisie defeat to PSV Eindhoven on Sunday.
Former Aberdeen and Kilmarnock loanee Freddie Woodman, however, appears to be very much a ‘no-go’.
Robby McCrorie, meanwhile, gave Beale food for thought with another impressive display during Saturday’s 3-0 Old Firm derby victory over Celtic.