Rangers have enjoyed a strong first transfer window under manager Gio van Bronckhorst as they have made two additions to their ranks at Ibrox.
James Sands has arrived on an 18-month loan from New York City FC and John Souttar is poised to arrive in the summer after penning a pre-contract agreement with the central defender.
Football Scotland reporter Mark Hendry has claimed that the Dutch head coach is now eyeing up a deal for a Scottish youth international this month.
He Tweeted: “EXCLUSIVE! Rangers interested in Motherwell and Scotland prospect Bailey Rice as Manchester City also weigh up move.”
Van Bronckhorst could land the club’s next Nathan Patterson by securing a swoop for Rice this month as he is a promising young player with the potential to break into the first team down the line.
Managing director Stewart Robertson explained the thinking behind the sale, saying:
“This is a deal which fits with our long-term, strategic vision for the club. We have been very clear that player trading is an important element of our business model but only when the circumstances suit Rangers.
“We are delighted for Nathan and his family, wish them all the best for the future and they will always be welcome back at Ibrox.”
This shows that the club are looking to bleed through youngsters from the academy and into the first-team in the hope of developing them into a player who can make them a large profit in the future.
Therefore, the signing of Rice could be a shrewd deal as he could follow in the footsteps of Patterson by impressing in the youth teams before breaking into van Bronckhorst’s side in the years to come.
The fact that Rangers and Manchester City have become alerted to his possible availability also indicates that they have seen enough from him at such a young age to believe that he could be a valuable asset moving forward.
This means that he could be the next Patterson for Rangers and Scotland in the future and that is why van Bronckhorst and Ross Wilson must work hard to pip Pep Guardiola’s side to his signature.