Rangers are battling a number of Premier League sides in the race to sign West Brom star Sam Johnstone in the upcoming January transfer window.
According to TEAMtalk, Giovanni van Bronckhorst has got his sights set on the England international as the man to bolster his goalkeeping options, but he won’t be an easy target to get.
It’s claimed that Spurs, Newcastle and West Ham are all also interested in the 6 foot 3 shot-stopper, whose contract at the Hawthorns comes to an end in the summer.
The report adds that Rangers “could even offer a pre-contract in January in view of next season and beyond.”
While Allan McGregor has served Rangers incredibly well with a whopping 416 games to his name, his performances this campaign have just reinforced the idea that his best days are well and truly behind him.
In fact, McGregor has a save percentage of just 50% in the Scottish Premiership for the Gers, which is the joint-lowest in the division, and at 39, should surely be out of Van Bronckhorst’s plans at Ibrox.
And, the Dutchman could kickstart that new era by making a swoop for the 28-year-old Johnstone.
His former boss Steve Bruce labelled the shot-stopper a “diamond”, and given the kind of shift he has had to put in last season at The Hawthorns, it’s no surprise why he has earned such praise.
No goalkeeper in the Premier League faced more shots on target (228) than Johnstone, while no goalkeeper has made as many saves as him either (161) – it was no surprise then that he earned rave reviews for his performances, with Micah Richards hailing his former teammate as “exceptional” last year.
Despite the fact the Baggies were relegated from the Premier League, Gareth Southgate called Johnstone up for the England squad back in September for the Three Lions’ World Cup qualifiers – an indication that the level he’s playing at right now isn’t quite where his actual ability lies.
If Van Bronckhorst is keen to go with the whole ‘out with the old, and in with the new’, then swapping an ageing and declining veteran in McGregor, for someone much younger and skilled in Johnstone, could well be the way to go.
Meanwhile, Rangers are battling to sign this star…