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Rangers: Pundit drops Ryan Porteous claim

Rangers could well be in line to make a move for Hibernian contract rebel, Ryan Porteous, according to pundit Jim Duffy.

What’s the word?

Speaking on Superscoreboard – as per Football Scotland – the Clyde boss suggested he had heard whispers that the 23-year-old could be on his way to Ibrox, amid the ongoing uncertainty regarding his future at Easter Road.

Asked about the Scotland international possibly joining the Gers’ Old Firm foes Celtic, Duffy stated:

“I have heard that there is a little bit of a suggestion that he may be going across the road to their greatest rivals.

“So, I have heard that, whether there’s that much in it but that’s something that’s in the air on the football grapevine should we say.”

A subsequent report from The Times has suggested that there has not been an approach from the Light Blues as yet for the one-cap brute, although that is not to say an offer could not emerge next month, with the centre-back seemingly set for an exit from his current club after turning down a new deal.

Hibs boss Lee Johnson has only recently stated that a January departure would seemingly be the “best idea” for all parties, following the defender’s refusal to extend his contract.

Imagine him and Goldson

While there would be potential controversy regarding the 6 foot 2 titan joining the Glasgow – having been lambasted by Steven Gerrard last year following a crunching, red-card challenge on Joe Aribo – Porteous would no doubt be a solid figure to help bolster Michael Beale’s backline.

The Edinburgh-born gem has notably enjoyed a fine start to the current campaign after starting all 16 Scottish Premiership games thus far, averaging 1.3 tackles per 90 as a sign of his defensive prowess, while also averaging 1.2 key passes per game to illustrate his strength in possession.

That all-round quality was evident on his senior debut at international level in the draw with Ukraine back in September, with the £2.7k-per-week man having been “immense” in the words of journalist Euan Booth Robertson, notably winning seven of his nine total duels and keeping a clean sheet in that clash.

Were Porteous – who has racked up 151 games for his current side to date – to be added to Beale’s ranks the new boss could well form a menacing centre-back partnership involving the Scotsman and Connor Goldson, with the latter man potentially nearing his return from injury.

The 29-year-old had been a mainstay in the side over the last few years prior to his recent absence, having been described as one of the “pillars” of the team by former manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst earlier this season.

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The former Brighton and Hove Albion man has been unable to form a settled partnership following Calvin Bassey’s summer exit, with John Souttar and Filip Helander having both been out of action for much of the current campaign, while Ben Davies has also had his own fitness woes.

That fact could well ensure that Porteous is the man to slot in alongside Goldson to help shore up the Ibrox outfit’s backline moving forward as an immense duo, with such a swoop set to be an astute one as far as Rangers are concerned.