A player recently linked with Steven Gerrard’s Glasgow Rangers has reportedly turned down a new contract at his club amid claims he could link up with the Ibrox side on a free transfer this summer.
George Maluleka, a South Africa international midfielder who currently plies his trade for Kaizer Chiefs, was linked with Rangers by the Daily Sun late last year, the outlet claiming that the Ibrox giants having sent scouts to watch the player in action.
The 31-year-old enforcer is out of contract at the end of the season and, according to Soccer Laduma, has turned down Kaizer Chiefs’ latest offer.
Head coach Ernst Middendorp is desperate to keep Maluleka, describing him as a “very crucial” part of his plans, but the reported contract snub suggests that the player may have his mind on a fresh start.
The tough-tackling midfielder has been with Kaizer Chiefs since 2014, helping them lift the title in 2015 and making 167 appearances and claiming 11 goals and 23 assists, according to Transfermarkt.
At first glance, Maluleka does not seem like the type of prospective Rangers signing that would help to close the gap on Celtic.
He is untested in Scottish football, will be 32 next year, and hasn’t made much impact at international level, with just six South Africa caps, all in friendlies, for a total of 153 minutes.
Nonetheless, he has done well at club level, and as a free transfer, he wouldn’t be an overly expensive gamble for the Ibrox side.
In addition, Rangers have done well with experienced veterans in recent years, with Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis having been assets for Gerrard.