While Leeds United failed in their approach for Ryan Kent earlier this summer, Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker has suggested that Rangers could reconsider their stance in wake of current events.
On 21 August, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard told BBC Sport that the Whites had contacted them over Kent, but said their opening bid was “strongly rejected” and sought to make it clear he is “not for sale”.
The following day, the Scottish Sun claimed that the Elland Road side was not ready to give up the fight for the talented attacker, and were prepared to increase their offer to £14million.
Since then, speculation linking Kent with Leeds has petered out somewhat, with the Whites having been linked with the likes of Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul and Dinamo Zagreb’s Josko Gvardiol.
However, with the phased return of Scottish football fans now postponed from 5 October in wake of current events, Walker worries of the “extremely serious” financial implications for SPFL clubs, including Rangers and Celtic.
“Ryan Kent has been attracting interest from Premier League newcomers Leeds United,” Walker wrote on Sky Sports.
“They’ve already had one bid knocked back, would anyone really be surprised if Rangers cashed in given the same scenario they are in with Celtic, namely, burning millions of pounds every month allied to a much-reduced income?
“If anything, Rangers’ need to generate serious money is greater than Celtic’s. It’s a fact that in the last set of accounts released by the Ibrox club, it told of a loss of over £11m in the last financial year despite generating £14m through their exciting Europa League run.”
It’s understandable that Rangers don’t want to let Kent go, with such a great start to such an important season, with a 55th title, plus stopping Celtic getting their hands on a 10th consecutive crown, at stake.
However, the prospect of no fans at Scottish Premiership games for the foreseeable future, and the financial implications involved, could force the Ibrox side’s hand somewhat.
With Leeds still seemingly on the lookout for an attacker who can operate as a No. 10 or out wide, it’s a situation they should be keeping tabs on.