James Tavernier deserves a huge amount of credit for the role he has played in Rangers’ title win this season and considering his current contract is set to expire at the end of the next campaign, Steven Gerrard and Ross Wilson must both make it his priority to ensure that the captain signs a new deal to stay at Ibrox.
Although the 29-year-old has missed the last month of action through injury, he was enjoying an incredible season for Gerrard’s side earlier in the campaign and has been a huge factor in their title win.
In 29 Premiership appearances, the defender has contributed a remarkable 11 goals and nine assists, averaging a superb 7.76 rating for his performances.
This comfortably ranks him as Rangers’ best performer in the league so far this season, with Joe Aribo’s 7.44 average rating the closest to the captain, which again highlights just how important he has been in the title success.
It is not a surprise that Tavernier has been attracting interest from the Premier League, with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Newcastle United all reportedly interested in signing him.
Whilst the Gers were able to keep hold of their captain in the winter transfer window, they may struggle if some of the top Premier League clubs come knocking in the summer, especially because they are not in a strong position with Tavernier’s contract.
As it stands, the right-back’s contract with Rangers will expire at the end of next season, meaning he could potentially leave on a free transfer, whilst foreign clubs could potentially negotiate with him in January 2022, with the view to signing him on a Bosman transfer deal.
Considering Tavernier is valued at £7.2 million by Transfermarkt, which is only second to Alfredo Morelos in the Rangers squad, the club will be desperate not to lose him on a free transfer or for a reduced fee.
With the Champions League to come next season, Gerrard will also be desperate to keep his captain around, having described him as “unstoppable” earlier in the season.
Therefore, both Wilson and Gerrard must work hard to try and convince Tavernier to sign a new deal with Rangers, otherwise, you worry that his head could be turned by the prospect of playing in the Premier League on what would presumably be a much higher salary.