Rangers and Man City are both reportedly interested in Scotland youth international Bailey Rice, according to Football Scotland.
Rangers have invested heavily in Academy recruitment in recent seasons and there’s no sign of it stopping any time soon.
The club have already been linked with a number of exciting young players this month, including Millwall’s Zak Lovelace [Daily Record].
And now, Football Scotland reports that they’re interested in bringing Motherwell starlet Rice to Auchenhowie.
The 15-year-old has captained Scotland at youth level and is described as a ‘prodigious talent’.
His age has prevented him from signing a professional contract yet, and therefore there’s little stopping a bigger club from swooping for him.
However, the Gers aren’t his only admirers, with the report asserting that Man City’s Scotland-based scout Kenny Marshall has been sent to watch Rice in action.
It’s claimed that a move to England is the teenager’s current preference, but it’s suggested that the fact that youths can sign pro deals in Scotland a year before they can south of the border could give Rangers an advantage.
Could Rangers land Rice despite Premier League club competition?
Rangers have beaten off competition from English clubs to sign prospects like Tony Weston and Charlie McCann in recent times and the contract rules down south do look to be a hindrance for City here.
However, the pull of the Premier League is massive and City aren’t an average top-flight team, either, they’re the current champions of England.
What’s more, as we cited when the Gers were linked with Millwall’s Lovelace, the uncertainty about what competition the Rangers B team will be playing in next season can’t be helpful.
The B team’s Lowland League membership is only due to last until the end of the current campaign and even if it were to be extended, it’s realistically not a high enough standard for top young talents to be playing at.
Man City can offer Premier League 2 football and while that’s not perfect either, it’s a more established league for talent development and the facilities on offer at the Etihad Campus are on another level.
Therefore, this could be a difficult one for Rangers to pull off if City do decide to make a move.