What a difference a day makes in football as Rangers flip their transfer window on its head with Tom Lawrence looking to join Antonio Colak in coming into the club.
There were grumbles aplenty amongst the Rangers support as the Ibrox side kicked off their pre-season training camp in Portugal with John Souttar the only new arrival.
This is after the club came up short in the Scottish Premiership and with a feeling real quality had to be added to take the team to the next level.
Early talk of an overhaul was clearly premature – as evidenced by the series of contract renewals at Ibrox – and the focus has been on getting the right players in.
First through the door was John Souttar, a Scotland international centre-back who, when fit, is up there with the best the nation has to offer and is arguably second best only to Connor Goldson in the Premiership.
This pre-contract move was announced in January so you can forgive Bears for not fully recognising it as a summer move but it’ll be in pre-season that the Bears see John pull on the famous blue for the first time.
Next in the door is PAOK striker Antonio Colak, who has been officially unveiled as Rangers’ second summer signing after a protracted week or so of reports in the press.
It always looked like a certainty to get over the line and Rangers have reportedly paid £1.8m to sign the 28-year-old on a three-year deal.
Colak has previous at Ibrox having downed Rangers’ Champions League hopes with Malmo last season and the striker will be hoping to have the opposite effect this time around.
Besides, Rangers have had their fare share of luck with big Croatian strikers in the past.
Tom Lawrence reportedly set to become latest Rangers signing
And whilst not announced, the third signing of the window looks set to be Wales international and Derby County captain Tom Lawrence, who veered away from Bramall Lane to head to Ibrox at the last moment [Glasgow Times].
There’s been some conjecture about this signing online, perhaps a Championship attacking midfielder not exotic enough for some, but this looks like a solid move for Rangers.
At 28-years-old Tom Lawrence is an experienced player and his stint as Derby County captain suggests there’s maturity and leadership there.
Signing the midfielder should also guarantee goals from midfield, at the very least at Scottish Premiership level, and a lack of goals from other areas of the pitch have been a cause for concern.
Predominantly playing on both wings or as an attacking midfielder, the influential ex-Derby star was the club’s top scorer last season with 11 goals.
These signings also symbolise something of a reshuffling rather than a rebuilding; Souttar replaces the ageing Leon Balogun in the squad and Tom Lawrence, whilst not quite as versatile, can fill in the attacking midfielder void left by the imminent exit of Joe Aribo.
The Nigerian international is set to move to Southampton on a deal that could top £10m and Rangers have moved swiftly to plug any gap with an experienced campaigner.
The sale of Cedric Itten to Young Boys for £1.5m – it by now well agreed he was always unlikely to make it at Rangers – has also reinforced the bulk of the Colak fee, the Croatian on paper a more suitable player for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.
That means Rangers have spent around £300k in transfer fees to nail down three international players who have genuine potential and bring a freshness and experience to the squad.
It also means that there is likely to be something left in the bank to spend on other areas of the squad should the right player become available.
Credit has to go to the Rangers board for their patient handling of the situation amid something of a hysteria outside the walls of Ibrox but the acid test will be in how the squad is set-up come the end of the window.
There’s a lot of talk about a marquee signing – could it be a Belgian-born right winger who cost his current club £6m three seasons ago?