Barry Fry has opened up on Jonson Clarke-Harris’ situation this summer amid transfer interest from Rangers.
Peterborough’s director of football has said that it will take a ‘good offer’ for the English club to sell Rangers target Clarke-Harris this summer.
Fry has said that he expects bids to come in for the centre-forward, but has made it clear that Peterborough want to compete in the Championship and will not sell Clarke-Harris on the cheap.
He told Football Transfer Tavern: “Do I expect bids for Jonson Clarke-Harris? Yes I do. Will they be enough? I don’t know.
“Because we don’t want to go up to the Championship and be also-rans, we want to go up to the Championship and stay there and progress further, so it’ll have to be a good offer.”
Peterborough co-owner Darragh MacAnthony lavished praise on the “fantastic” attacker earlier this year and failed to rule out Clarke-Harris leaving the club in the summer. He told Sky Sports News, as relayed by the Hull Daily Mail: “Peterborough United can never pay players £25/30,000 a week, there will be seven or eight clubs already offering Jonson Clarke-Harris, Dembele, that kind of money.
“We are that club, we have to build. We’re not going to be selling a lot of our assets, but you always have one player that so many clubs are after, they’re going to tap them up which is normal, par for the course and it’s difficult to compete with that.
“He’s been fantastic, the best player in League One the best goalscorer in England and if we can keep him, brilliant, because he’ll be worth double by January in the Championship.”
Ross Wilson must sanction a deal for Rangers to sign Clarke-Harris this summer. Whilst Fry has made it clear that the 26-year-old will not be sold for a bargain price, he has not completely ruled out a sale, and that should give Rangers encouragement that there is a deal to be done this summer.
The allure of Champions League football could be enough to convince Clarke-Harris to ditch a Championship campaign with Peterborough, as he could have the chance to play in Europe’s premier competition with the Gers next season.
Rangers were unable to find a consistent goalscorer in the Premiership as they won the title last season, with a number of players sharing the goalscoring load. Alfredo Morelos, James Tavernier and Kemar Roofe all scored between 10 and 11 goals, whilst Joe Aribo, Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent all netted six or more league goals. This suggests that Gerrard needs a centre-forward who is able to reliably score 20+ goals a season, rather than relying on multiple players to chip in.
Clarke-Harris proved in England’s League One that he can score goals at a ridiculous rate. The £6,100-per-week gem found the back of the net an astounding 33 times in all competitions for Peterborough last term, including 31 in League One.
This suggests that he could be the man Gerrard needs to come in and fire Rangers to another Premiership title and hopefully help them go deep into the Champions League or Europa League knockout stages. Therefore, Wilson needs to get a deal over the line for Clarke-Harris to bolster Rangers’ attacking options.