On Thursday evening, Italian journalist Nicolo Schira claimed that Claudio Marchisio had recently turned down the opportunity to come to Rangers.
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) September 5, 2019
The 33-year-old Italy international is a free agent, after being released by Zenit Saint Petersburg earlier in the summer.
It’s an outlandish report, given the stature of the player involved and the amount of strength in depth Rangers already have in midfield.
Yet, if the Gers did put feelers out, it’s further evidence that Gerrard doesn’t seem convinced by Greg Docherty.
Reported Rangers chase for Marchisio shows lack of faith in Doc
In mid-August, Steven Gerrard admitted that he would like to have six central midfielders at the club i.e two for each of three midfield slots [RangersTV].
At that point, he had five in Ryan Jack, Steven Davis, Joe Aribo, Glen Kamara and Greg Docherty. Scott Arfield is playing further forward at the minute, but could also be deployed centrally if required.
A day later and Premier League winner Andy King arrived at Ibrox. Based on what the manager had said, that was his midfield unit complete. Docherty was clearly last in the pecking order, but he was still a part of the plans.
Yet, things appear to have shifted since then. The 22-year-old was left out of the squad for the Europa League group stages [UEFA.com], a matter of days after rumours emerged that Rangers had accepted a bid from Peterborough United for his services, only for him to turn it down [Football League World].
Now, it seems that the club were looking to add another international midfielder to the roster.
It’s all evidence that despite the clamours of the fans to get him involved after a great loan stint with Shrewsbury, the manager doesn’t feel he’s needed at Ibrox.
For Docherty, a bluenose trying to make a success of his time with his boyhood club, these developments must be tough to take. But the fact is, he’s still a Rangers player, until January at least.
He may not be in the forefront of Gerrard’s thoughts right now, but he has several months left to change his mind. It’s now or never for the central midfielder and it’ll be interesting to see if he can force himself back from the brink.