It looks likely that Scottish striker Ross McCormack will be leaving Aston Villa this summer. In fact, it has even been reported by The Telegraph that the Championship side are considering a mutual termination to his contract in the summer.
So should Rangers consider exorcising some demons of the past, and bring McCormack back to Ibrox?
McCormack joined Rangers in 2002 and was considered one of the hottest prospects at the Glasgow club. After making his debut as a 17-year-old in 2004 he looked like being a star of the future at Ibrox. However, with the likes of Dado Prso, Nacho Novo and Kris Boyd blocking his pathway, the youngster did not have a chance.
Then came infamous Rangers manager Paul Le Guen. One of the least liked Gers bosses in history, the Frenchman decided McCormack had no future in his Ibrox regime. His desire to prove Le Guen wrong was something the Scot alluded to after he joined Motherwell, telling the BBC:
“It’s not up to me to say he should have given me a chance, but he didn’t.
“I’m disappointed, but these things happen and it is up to me to bounce back and prove a few people wrong.”
Since then Rangers have been left to rue the decision of the Frenchman, who was only at Ibrox for seven months.
McCormack has scored goals galore in English football during spells with Cardiff City, Leeds United and Fulham. Whilst his Aston Villa run has been forgettable, he did score 14 goals in 17 games for Australian outfit Melbourne City during a recent loan spell – so he still has it.
Rangers now have the perfect opportunity to bring him back. Available on a free and looking to kickstart his career, returning to Ibrox would be the perfect move for McCormack.
Of course, he would need to take a wage cut, but other players have proved a willingness to do so in order to play for a club of Rangers prestige.
Some mitigating factors exist. Since leaving Rangers the striker has admitted to being a boyhood Celtic fan, which will not sit well with certain pockets of support.
Another will be the new Rangers manager. If the Gers were to appoint Steve Clarke, that would be a huge boost. The Kilmarnock manager worked with McCormack during his first few months at Villa. But Clarke is adamant he is going nowhere and whoever Rangers do appoint may not share the nostalgia for McCormack that he likely would.
But the fact is McCormack is a goal-machine in England when red hot. Rangers, who currently have Alfredo Morelos and loanee Jason Cummings up top, need some striking reinforcements.
Bringing in the man cut aside by Le Guen as a 19-year-old, who has since scored 161 professional goals, would be a brilliant coup for Rangers this summer.
Rangers return for Ross McCormack would show last resort after transfer failures
Rangers are continuing to look to strengthen their front line and provide alternatives to reduce the dependence upon Alfredo Morelos, despite his prolific start to the campaign, and the latest name to be linked with a move to Ibrox is Ross McCormack.
TeamTalk say that the Scottish side have shown an interest after Aston Villa made it clear that they would be prepared to pay all of his £40,000 per week wages, which could mean he would be a bargain acquisition.
The 32-year-old played 10 games and scored two goals during a stint at the club as a youngster in 2005/06 before departing for Motherwell, where his impressive form earned him a move south of the border.
However, since moving to Aston Villa for £12 million, his career has gone downhill. A fall-out with Steve Bruce meant that his career at Villa Park has been all but written off.
“It’s been a disaster. There’s no two ways about it. I scored four goals and played something like 25 games. If you look at the five years before that I was averaging over 50 games a season and probably over 20 goals. I think most players have a dip in their careers, hopefully that was mine.”
Rangers have had a bid turned down for Hearts forward Kyle Lafferty, according to STV, and a reported interest in McCormack may represent a shift in attention to a player who is unlikely to be first choice in Steven Gerrard’s wishlist.
McCormack may have scored 14 goals in 17 games for Melbourne City, but he has not played regularly in Britain since 2016 and, at 32-years-old, is not a long-term solution. Such short-termism is something that Gerrard has been keen to avoid with his other signings.
Financially, the deal may make sense with such low costs, but it is hard to see that Gerrard would welcome a player on the decline with reported attitude problems and fitness issues having spent his summer hiring young and exciting talents with a point to prove.
Rangers outcast Fabio Cardoso scores first goal for new club
New Rangers boss Steven Gerrard decided Cardoso had no Ibrox future, but he looks happy away from Glasgow.
Rangers have gone through wholesale changes this summer under the guidance of new manager Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool legend has moved to strengthen the team across the board, in particular the defensive positions.
He has made several additions at the back, leaving fringe defenders at the club looking for ventures new.
One such player was Fabio Cardoso. Signed by Pedro Caixinha, the Portuguese centre-back arrived at Ibrox with plenty of promise. He cost £1.3 million from Vitoria Setubal and had plenty of experience with his nation at youth level. But his time in Glasgow was forgettable.
He played just 12 times for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership. With the writing on the wall for the upcoming season, the player and Rangers agreed on a mutual termination at the end of July.
Cardoso has since landed on his feet. He headed back to Portugal, joining perennial underdogs Santa Clara. Promoted from the second-tier last season, Cardoso’s new team are now hoping to establish themselves in Portugal’s top-flight.
At the weekend they drew a thrilling encounter with Sporting Braga. After being 3-0 down at half-time they fought back to draw 3-3. Cardoso even did something he never managed to do whilst at Glasgow Rangers. The 25-year-old scored the equaliser with a thumping near-post header.
Rangers fans will harbour no real ill-feeling toward Cardoso. He was a product of the shambolic Caixinha era.
Scottish football was simply not for him. Hopefully, he can find some success back home.
Three ins and outs Rangers could complete this week
The final full week of the transfer window is here and there is a clear feeling that Rangers’ squad is not yet complete. Steven Gerrard has demanded more additions for his team, despite remaining unbeaten in the job, and some new faces could soon arrive at Ibrox.
Speculation continues to surround several potential additions, with these three being some of the most strongly linked with the club…
Kyle Lafferty (Hearts)
Edinburgh News report that Hearts have already rejected one offer for their talisman and his future remains unclear, as his own manager Craig Levein has confessed. With not long left in the window, a solution is required one way or the other.
“We are still talking. There is nothing more I can say at this moment in time. The dialogue has been sporadic. I don’t want to go into any details but I am not resigned to losing him. I am keeping people up to speed to inform that the Lafferty deal is not dead.”
With doubts over Alfredo Morelos’ future too, Lafferty could be brought in more urgently than ever if a serious bid is made for the Colombian.
Jack Simpson (Bournemouth)
Simpson has been linked with Rangers for some weeks now, and the Daily Record say that he is close to completing a move to the club at last after delays have prevented him from making the loan move from Premier League team Bournemouth.
With injuries now clearing up on the south coast, Simpson will be allowed to depart for Rangers and add another option in the heart of defence where Gerrard has made it clear that the squad is lacking depth.
Charlie Adam (Stoke City)
Perhaps the most unlikely to join, The Telegraph claim that Rangers were interested in bringing him back to the Scottish Premier League earlier this summer but a deal never came off. Now, that interest has faded, but Stoke City have told the veteran that he can leave the club.
Whilst Adam is unlikely to be top of Gerrard’s wishlist, stranger things have happened and his experience could be valuable for a young and inexperienced team.
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