Rangers will need to shell out £5m if they make their reported interest in Peterborough striker Jonson Clarke-Harris official, according to the League One club’s sporting director.
Barry Fry and the Peterborough powerbrokers are never shy to speak up their top talents in public with Rangers one of the club’s mentioned alongside the 27-goal striker.
But could Rangers learn from Celtic’s mistakes regarding a Peterborough player should any interest be made concrete?
Joining Peterborough for around £1m from Bristol Rovers – who have a 20% sell-on clause for the forward – Fry believes the Posh can get five times this amount for the forward.
The Gers were amongst a host of clubs in the stands as Harris banged in a hattrick against Accrington Stanley last weekend.
“There were several Championship clubs chasing Jonson in January and Bournemouth were the most persistent,” said Fry [Peterborough Telegraph].
“We had several offers for the player, but we turned them down flat, even though we could probably get five times what we paid for him
“We want promotion this season so there’s no way we would have let him go. It was the same situation with Ivan Toney last season.
“We could have sold him in January, but we were never going to. The owners have done great to resist cashing in at a time when football clubs are struggling financially.
“Rangers have been to a lot of our matches this season and they were there on Saturday. Sheffield United were also there, but West Brom weren’t.
“I didn’t have a conversation about Jonson with any of them though.
“Like with Ivan, we don’t have a single concern that transfer talk will affect Jonson. He is single-minded and his focus is entirely on winning promotion with us.
“He’s a humble man who constantly gives the praise to his teammates.”
A prospective fee of £5m may sound like a substantial one for a player who has never played English top flight football but the 26-year-old’s scoring record in the last two seasons is significant.
Along with his 27 this season in Peterborough colours Clarke-Harris netted 16 last season for Bristol Rovers in the last campaign.
The situation also mirrors that of Ivan Toney – as Fry repeatedly mentions – and this is where Celtic’s notorious biscuit tin transfer mentality comes to the fore.
Toney looked determined to seal a switch to Celtic but they would not stump up the £5m (rising to £10m) which Brentford did for the striker’s services. They signed Albian Ajeti for a similar transfer fee instead.
Since then Celtic’s season has collapsed whilst Toney has flourished in the Championship, his 28 goals guiding Brentford to 4th in the English second tier with Premier League promotion a genuine possibility.
Whilst questions remain about Harris’ suitability for Rangers amid a £5m price-tag, the situation involving Toney shows sometimes you could live to regret pushing the boat out.
Clarke-Harris isn’t the only player being linked to Ibrox and one African star being linked with a £2m+ move to Rangers has broken his silence amid the reported interest.