Rangers’ hopes of signing Gary Cahill this summer are over after the former England international joined Bournemouth on a free transfer, which is undoubtedly a blow to Steven Gerrard at Ibrox.
The Gers were heavily linked with signing the 35-year-old in recent weeks following his exit from Crystal Palace, with reports suggesting that they were willing to pay him a hefty wage in order to bring him to Ibrox.
However, their early Champions League exit reportedly cost Rangers around £40m, and following that setback, it was perhaps always going to be a struggle to afford the experienced centre-back without selling some first team players.
With a Rangers move seemingly no longer on the table, it didn’t take Cahill long to earn himself an offer elsewhere, and he will link up with another former England teammate in Scott Parker at Bournemouth, as the Cherries confirmed his signing on a one-year deal on Friday.
Although he is reaching the end of his career, the £1.35m-rated Cahill featured 20 times for Crystal Palace in the Premier League last season and he would’ve added a wealth of experience at Rangers both on and off the pitch, perhaps with the view to him offering his services as a coach there in the future.
Gerrard has a plethora of options at centre-back but recent performances emphasise that they could be a lot stronger there; and Cahill’s quality on the ball and experience playing at the top level could’ve been very useful for Rangers to have in tough situations, such as the recent defeat against Malmo at Ibrox.
Roy Hodgson, who boasts a huge amount of experience as a manager, was full of praise for Cahill and his influence last season, saying: “First of all he’s a very, very good defender. His position is very good, he’s exceptionally good in the air, he’s a strong challenger for the ball and a very good blocker of the ball. These are the defensive qualities we don’t talk about every day… They’re the qualities that get you the clean sheets.
“He’s also brought us leadership qualities, he’s been very good leadership-wise. He’s the best type of leader; he’s the quiet leader people don’t see from Row Z in the stand. He’s the leader we see in training week to week.”
Therefore, Gerrard will no doubt be gutted that he couldn’t bring a character such as Cahill to Rangers, as he could’ve been a great addition to the squad at Ibrox.