Rangers have been pursuing a number of central defenders this summer after Joe Worrall and Gareth McAuley’s Ibrox exits – but the Gers need to move quickly or risk being left short when the Europa League kicks off.

Steven Gerrard’s side only have Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic available as senior central defenders but Katic could find himself involved in the UEFA U21 European Championship until a little over a week before the first Europa League qualifier.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 12: Nikola Katic of Rangers celebrates at the final whistle during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Croatian is part of his country’s squad and could be involved right up to the final on June 30th while Gerrard puts his club mates through their paces ahead of the first Europa League game on July 11th.

Katic will face France, England and Romania in Italy at this summer’s finals and will be hoping they can emulate the senior side’s recent success and go all the way.

Jean Philippe Mateta of France and Nikola Katic of Croatia during the International U21 Football Friendly match between France and Croatia on November 15, 2018 in Beauvais, France.

(Photo by Aude Alcover/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Gerrard’s side have been linked with moves for the likes of George Edmundson and Tomas Kalas so it’s clear the Gers boss is well aware that he needs defensive reinforcements.

 

There’s always the possibility that Gerrard turns to Aidan Wilson or Ross McCrorie if Katic isn’t ready for the start of the European campaign.

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND - APRIL 07: Scott Arfield of Rangers celebrates with the match ball after scoring all three goals in his team's 0-3 victory during the Ladbrokes Premier League match between Motherwell and Rangers at Fir Park on April 07, 2019 in Motherwell, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Gerrard has previously insisted that McCrorie isn’t a defender but he might have little other option if he can’t get someone else in quickly.

With Scott Arfield also looking like missing the start of the Europa League due to his involvement in Canada’s Gold Cup campaign, then Gerrard’s side might have a pretty unfamiliar look when the competitive action gets underway.

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