Rangers are set to bolster their development ranks by signing Sporting Lisbon starlet Umaro Balde, the Evening Times are reporting.
The Gers boasts a proud history at academy level with the pathway to first-team football very clear for the Ibrox-based club.
Rangers have enjoyed success at youth level in 2018/19. The Light Blues’ Under-20s won the Reserve League, whilst the Under-18s won the League and Youth Cup double.
Boss Steven Gerrard has shown a willingness to hand youngsters a first-team chance during his maiden campaign. Dapo Mebude, a 17-year-old striker, was given his debut during the final day defeat to Kilmarnock.
Others have also played a part this season and the challenge for the highly-rated Balde will be to break into Gerrard’s plans. He will pen a two-year deal with the Light Blues.
Balde was born in Bissau and follows Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie through the Ibrox entrance as early summer additions. Striker Greg Stewart is expected to join in the coming weeks after his release from Birmingham City.
Umaro Balde is not a name that will ring too many bells in the heads of the Rangers supporters.
The 19-year-old will arrive at Rangers to work with Graeme Murty’s Under-20s in the first instance, but the ultimate goal will be to make the grade at first-team level.
Balde is a holding midfielder who has played for the Portugal youth ranks and he will now look to make his mark on Scotland.
The 19-year-old has come through the Sporting Lisbon academy so it would be anticipated that he can play a bit. It will delight him that in Gerrard he has a manager who has previously made it abundantly clear that if the younger players are good enough then they will feature in his squads.