A fresh twist has emerged about Rangers target Salih Ozcan, one which looks like it will end any chance of the player making a move to join Steven Gerrard at Ibrox this summer.
According to Kicker, as relayed by GGFN, Rangers target Salih Ozcan is poised to put pen to paper on a contract extension with Koln this week, ending speculation over his future. Koln manager Steffen Baumgart held talks with the midfielder and convinced him that remaining with the Bundesliga outfit was the best option for him, with a deal now in place to keep him at the club.
Earlier this month, Kicker reported that Rangers were interested in a swoop for the German. At the time, Ozcan was prepared to see out of his contract and leave on a free transfer at the end of the month, as he was said to be keen to experience a new league. However, he now looks set to reject the chance to sign with the Scottish giants to stay put in Germany.
Gerrard will be gutted by this fresh twist in the club’s pursuit of Ozcan. The 23-year-old signing a new contract with Koln seemingly puts an end to their chances of landing him in the current transfer window and they will now need to look elsewhere for targets. This is a shame because Ozcan could have been an excellent addition to the former Liverpool midfielder’s squad.
Ozcan has already racked up over 100 appearances in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga during his short career to date, highlighting his experience at the top level. He has also dipped his toes into European football, with five starts in the Europa League for Koln in 2017 – suggesting that he could have been a useful player for Rangers in Europe next season.
However, it is worth mentioning that Ozcan did not enjoy a successful 2020/21 campaign for Koln. He started 15 games for the club in the Bundesliga, with a further 13 substitute appearances, and averaged a disappointing WhoScored rating of 6.28, but he has previously performed much better than he did last year.
The £3.15m-rated dynamo had found his rhythm the previous season with Holstein Kiel on loan, though. In 26 starts for the 2. Bundesliga outfit, Ozcan produced five goals and seven assists from central midfield and averaged an exceptional WhoScored rating of 7.08.
This shows that he is capable of putting in superb performances at a good standard, which is why Gerrard will be frustrated that he now looks set to miss out on a bargain deal for the midfielder.