In Rangers hunt to identify homegrown talent to improve the domestic pool for UEFA quotas, one name who has regularly appeared over the last couple of seasons has been Ross Stewart.
The Sunderland striker has had a successful time in England since moving on from Ross County and is now set to move to south coast.
The Scotland international spent much of last season on the sidelines due to injury but Sunderland are looking for a £10m fee that all but ends Rangers interest.
The sort of sum that, again, highlights, the disparity in finances in England’s second tier and the inflation in transfer fees.
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Writing on X, Downie reported:
“Southampton have lunched a bid to sign Ross Stewart from Sunderland.
“Soton had a bid of £4m plus add-ons turned down yesterday, & have now gone in with improved offer of £6m +£1.5m.
“Awaiting response from #SAFC. Striker Stewart is open to the move. His deal is up next summer.”
Rangers need to move quicker for players like Ross Stewart
For Rangers to sign players like this now, they have to either be out of contract or into the last six months and available on a pre-contract agreement.
With 40 goals in 80 games, Ross Stewart’s ratio is an easy one to calculate, but for a player who is out of contract in 2024, it’s an awful lot of money, especially given his injury issues last season.
This isn’t the market that Rangers should be shopping in anymore.
We signed Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and Danilo for circa £13m but other options like Petar Ratkov and Nikola Krstovic – who scored minutes into his Serie A debut – were well within our budget too.
Rangers have to be clever with recruitment, good Scottish players are few and far between and the key is getting the likes of Ross Stewart before he moves to Sunderland or Lewis Ferguson before he moves to Aberdeen.
As soon as they start doing well away from these shores, it’s already too late.