Possible Rangers transfer blow as Southampton reportedly leading race for Ibrox target
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Possible Rangers transfer blow as Southampton reportedly leading race for Ibrox target

In a possible transfer blow for Rangers, Southampton are reportedly leading the race for exciting Ibrox-linked James Hill [TEAMtalk].

Rangers were first linked with Fleetwood Town’s Hill in September.

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After Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley claimed that a Scottish Premiership side and two Premier League outfits had seen bids rejected for the 19-year-old centre-back, the Daily Record asserted that Rangers were the Scottish top-flight club in question.

Hill is out of contract in the summer and it seems that Ross Wilson and co. saw him as a player who could add to current defensive options at Ibrox and then potentially command a big resale fee down the line.

Possible Rangers transfer blow

It’s unclear whether or not the Gers are planning to bid again for the England youth international during the January window.

But if they are, it looks like they face an uphill battle to land him.

That’s because TEAMtalk reported on Friday that Southampton are leading the race to sign the teenager, while a host of other clubs are also interested.

It’s asserted that Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Barcelona have all scouted Hill this season, while Burnley, Norwich City, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Stoke City have all ‘checked in’ on him in recent weeks.

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Gers unlikely to land James Hill

Given that Rangers haven’t even been mentioned in this latest report, it looks like they may be bowing out of the race to sign Hill.

It’s unlikely that such a call would have been made due to a change of heart on the player, who has impressed since breaking through at Fleetwood in 2018.

But even though Rangers can offer things that many of the other clubs on his list of suitors can’t, including European football and regular chances to compete for silverware, the competition looks to be too strong.

It would be no surprise to see Gio van Bronckhorst still strengthen at the back in this window, though.

He needs cover in central defence given that Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun’s contracts are running down and Jack Simpson has been linked with a move away.