Rangers target Claudio Marchisio has all the makings of a big-name flop

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

Despite the transfer window being shut, there is one rumour that refuses to go away. Free agent and Italian international Claudio Marchisio continues to be linked with a move to Rangers as reported by journalist Matteo Pedrosi.

After being released by Zenit St. Petersburg, Marchisio is available for free which means Rangers can still sign him at any time. Here we look at whether or not Rangers need the experienced Italian international in the first place or if he’s anything more than a vanity signing.

Rangers’ transfer policy

Steven Gerrard’s recent transfer policy has been pretty consistent. But for Swedish international Filip Helander signed from Bologna, the majority arrived with either experience of British football or more specifically, Scottish football. They have also either been acquired for free or have a sell-on value given their age.

Where does Marchisio fit into this policy? At 33 he doesn’t have a sell-on value. Yes, he is available for free but he has been plying his trade for Zenit and that will unlikely have been on loose change – a rumoured £6m a year no less – while Rangers already have ample cover in his position. Having a Rangers team with Marchisio in the starting line-up may look good but would he bring anything significantly different to the already congested midfield table?

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Fitness issues and midfield options

Marchisio is without a club and currently recovering from knee surgery as reported on TransferMarkt, while Rangers are already three points behind Celtic and do not have time to bed players in and allow them to settle.

Part of last season’s failures can be attested to Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe arriving fit but not match fit enough to make the desired impact – Defoe could only start six top flight games, albeit scoring six goals, in the second half of last season. Marchisio, meanwhile, only managed 15 appearances for Zenit due to injury problems, while he has now missed pre-season.

With Ryan Jack returning from international duty injured, there is a space in the Rangers midfield but Gerrard has an array of options already in place. Glen Kamara, Andy King, Scott Arfield and Greg Docherty are all fit and ready to make an instant impact should they be called upon.

Claudio Marchisio would represent an attractive signing on paper, as did Bruno Alves, Niko Kranjcar and Joey Barton – but none of those will be remembered as particularly successful Rangers acquisitions. Expensive, injured and by no means essential, Marchisio feels like another potential big-name flop.

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