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Rangers: Ross Stewart has been a “long-term target”

Rangers have been heavily linked with a move for Scotland international, Ross Stewart, in recent times, as the Ibrox outfit seeks to strengthen their attacking options heading into the New Year.

What’s the word?

Football League World reported at the end of last month that the Light Blues – as well as rivals Celtic – were keeping tabs on the striker’s contract situation at current club, Sunderland, with the 26-year-old having just six months remaining on his existing deal.

The report also notes that the Black Cats do have the option of triggering a 12-month extension for the Irvine-born ace, although a departure could still be in the offing in January, with Football Insider claiming that the Championship outfit have put a £10m price tag on his head.

Journalist Pete O’Rourke has now provided his thoughts on that rumoured interest in an interview with Football FanCast, with the transfer insider suggesting that Stewart – who was a reported target for the Gers over the summer – has been closely monitored by the Old Firm giants over an extended period.

Asked whether the addition of the Irvine-born ace could be one that manager Michael Beale looks to make, O’Rourke stated:

“Yeah, he’s been a long-term target for Rangers, Ross Stewart. He’s scored a lot of goals for Sunderland down in England, so I’m sure Michael Beale is looking to see what he can add to this Rangers attack.

“There are still doubts surrounding the long-term future of Alfredo Morelos as well who’s out of contract in the summer, so I think Rangers will be doing their homework on some strikers.”

Striking solution

As the respected source alluded to, a new centre-forward has been mooted amid the uncertainty regarding Alfredo Morelos’ future in Glasgow, with the Colombia international’s current contract set to expire at the end of the season.

The potential exit of the 26-year-old – be it next month or in the summer – would certainly spark the need for a fresh face to help provide stern competition to summer signing Antonio Colak through the middle.

Turning to the aforementioned Stewart would be a wise solution such has been the 6 foot 2 gem’s “incredible” form of late, as described by Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman, having proven a “revelation” south of the border, as per teammate Alex Pritchard.

The former Ross County man – who boasts an overall club career tally of 80 goals in 215 games across his time both in Scotland and England – has been especially prolific since moving to the Stadium of Light back in January 2021, having netted 35 goals in just 73 games in that time.

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That includes a haul of six goals and three assists in just eight appearances in the league so far this term, with further involvement having only been inhibited by injury woes in the early months of the campaign.

Securing the services of a player who knows all about life in the Scottish Premiership would surely be a major plus point for Beale and co, with now the time to turn that long-standing interest into a concrete approach.