Rangers have been linked with a move to USA defender James Sands, who currently plays for ex-Celtic boss Ronny Deila at MLS Cup Champions New York City FC.

New York City FC’s first-ever homegrown player, according to reports in the Italian media the talented 21-year-old centre-back is a loan target for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.

Tutto Mercato are claiming that the Gers are looking at James Sands as back-up for the months ahead, pointing specifically to Filip Helander’s knee injury.

Rangers have had defensive issues this season with a number of players out injured throughout the campaign and others failing to impress in the background.

Both Leon Balogun and Filip Helander were injured heading into the winter break, whilst Jack Simpson is amongst the favourites to leave the club this winter after failing to impress.

Calvin Bassey has emerged as a strong option at centre-back alongside Connor Goldson but with a lack of depth in this position amid injuries, perhaps a loan move for James Sands would suit all parties.

Any Rangers move for James Sands would come in MLS off-season

NYCFC are currently celebrating their first ever MLS Cup victory after ex-Celtic manager Ronny Deila guided them to the trophy.

The MLS side defeated Portland Timbers on penalties after a 1-1 draw to lift the cup and now the American game closes down for the winter.

With the season not set to start back again until late February, Rangers may well see the close-season as the ideal chance to make a move into that market.

James Sands had an impressive season with the MLS Cup Champions, playing 31 times for the club this campaign, and Rangers would offer a solid experience for the defender.

SOCCER: DEC 05 MLS Cup Playoffs - New York City FC at Philadelphia Union
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Also capped seven times by the USA, the Gers also have a proud history of North American footballers.

Claudio Reyna, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Boncanegra, Gedion Zelalem, Emerson Hyndman and most recently Matt Polster have all turned out for Rangers.

Could James Sands become the 10th player to fly the star-spangled banner above Ibrox Stadium?

In other Rangers transfer news, we look at the truth behind new resurfaced links to a leading PSG wonderkid whose contract is running down.

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