Former Rangers manager Stuart McCall has urged Steven Gerrard to bolster his squad with free transfer signings this summer, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
The transfer window won’t officially open until next month but the Gers have already been busy.
Last week, it was announced that Ianis Hagi had agreed a ‘permanent, long-term deal’ with the club, with £3 million plus add-ons reportedly set to be paid to Genk over the next three years [STV].
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McCall insists, though, that while the Rangers squad needs strengthening, the effect of the global health crisis on the transfer market should mean that quality additions could be brought in on the cheap, or, ideally, for nothing.
“Last season was huge for him [Gerrard], but this one is going to be massive,” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. “That’s why the players he brings to the club this summer need to be capable of handling everything which will come their way. I’m not talking about spending millions, either.”
“The Covid-19 crisis means there won’t be as much money circulating in the game as there used to be. In any case, spending £5m on a player doesn’t guarantee that he’s going to be the answer.
“In fact, free transfers could be the way to go as long as your scouting and background checks are done properly because there will be a lot of free agents looking for a club this summer.”
Ross Wilson deserves major credit for his savvy handling of the Ianis Hagi deal but there’s no doubt the recruitment team have further work to do over the course of the summer.
As McCall says, there will be plenty of free agents out there, due, in part, to the global health crisis.
Rangers have announced the imminent departures of six out-of-contract players of their own [Rangers.co.uk], while the club have been linked with Charlton striker and soon-to-be free agent, Lyle Taylor [TEAMtalk].
The club have gone down the free transfer route on several occasions in recent seasons bringing in the likes of Scott Arfield and Jon Flanagan in deals which yielded mixed results.
There’s little margin for error heading into next season, though. The Gers have now gone nine without a major trophy and cannot afford a repeat of the dismal post-winter break runs which have derailed their last two domestic campaigns.