Rangers have reportedly had a bid turned down for leading English League One talent James Hill amid interest from the likes of Man United, Liverpool and Everton.
According to the Daily Record, Fleetwood Town centre-back Hill, 19, was the “Scottish Premiership” club mentioned as a bidder by Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley.
The League One club’s chief also claimed that two English Premier League sides bid for the defender, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
The Record has named these two clubs as Burnley and Southampton.
“There were two Premier League clubs who made bids for James and there was also a bid from the Scottish Premiership,” claims Pilley.
“I wouldn’t like to say who the clubs were, but unfortunately the bids weren’t of sufficient numbers for us to trade in.
“We’re quite relaxed about his situation. It might be that he goes in January, but he’s going to go at the end of the season unless he signs a new contract.”
Despite still being a teenager, James Hill made 35 appearances for Fleetwood Town last season, spending time working under former Gers midfielder Joey Barton.
In fact, Barton handed Hill his senior debut in football as a 16-year-old in 2018, making him the Cod Army’s youngest ever player in the process.
Barton even described the young centre-half as a “natural leader” and praised the player for his performance against Demarai Gray in the 4-0 EFL Cup defeat to Leicester City [FTFC].
💭 | "James looked assured and composed, and it is a privilege to have him around the group."
— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) August 29, 2018
It’s not clear if Rangers will go back into the market for the defender, but if these reports are true then the Gers will have substantial competition from the top tier in England.
A total of five clubs have been linked meaning Rangers would need to pip a quarter of the English topflight to bring the defender north.
But with those cross-border compensation fee rules working in the Gers’ favour, stranger things have certainly happened.
Rangers have taken advantage of the rules previously to sign the likes of Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey and there’s no reason why they can’t work in our favour once again.
These rules mean that English clubs must agree a development fee for the transfer of young talents – or risk a tribunal making a decision – whilst this does not effect transfers between Scotland and England.
Speaking of potential out-of-contract Rangers targets, a reported summer target is still yet to agree a new deal with his current club.