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Steven Gerrard should offer Danny Ward a Rangers escape plan

The Welsh international should be playing regular football and Rangers can offer him just that at Ibrox.

Mathew Coull

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Last month it was reported by The Scottish Sun that Rangers could be set to move on their number one keeper Wes Foderingham. The report suggested they were happy to cash-in on the player, with Championship sides Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest said to be keen.

If that is indeed the case then Rangers will be in the hunt for a new number one. Reports have suggested Allan McGregor could return to the club from Hull City, despite the Yorkshire side denying any done deal.

But even if the veteran stopper does head back to Ibrox, Steven Gerrard should push to bring in a player from his former club Liverpool as a potential replacement.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Welsh international Danny Ward has bided his time long enough at Anfield. This season he has been the third-choice to Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet – playing just one game for the Reds all season.

The time has come for Ward to find himself a new club, where regular first-team football is more likely. This summer, he will turn 25 and playing regular football should now be the norm for the talented Welshman.

Last season he was the regular at Huddersfield Town as they won promotion to the Premier League and the season before that he impressed during a loan stint at Aberdeen. So he has Scottish football experience, will be known to Gerrard and will be desperate for a chance that could be given to him at Ibrox.

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Rangers will need a new stopper this summer should they decide to move Foderingham on. Whilst McGregor is a great option, he is a veteran and a longer-term solution is to have Ward playing between the sticks.

Rangers would be missing a trick by not making a move for the player and using the Gerrard connection to lure him to Glasgow. Ward could easily go on to become a top player for Rangers for years to come and would, therefore, be a shrewd addition from Gerrard and Rangers.

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Rangers

Martin Skrtel wage issues reveal the difficulty of the Rangers rebuild

Max Cohen

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Martin Skrtel
Photo: Getty Images

In the weeks following Steven Gerrard’s appointment as Rangers manager, optimism about an anticipated wave of big-name signings filled the club.

One such high-profile target was Gerrard’s former teammate Martin Skrtel, an experienced and fearsome centre-back who was linked with a move to Ibrox.

Yet, according to recent reports in The Guardian, wage issues seem set to scupper the Slovakian’s move to Glasgow, revealing the difficulty of reshaping Rangers while operating on a limited budget.

Skrtel’s agent Karol Csonto was quoted in the Guardian claiming the Scottish club simply did not have enough money to satisfy the defender’s exorbitant Fenerbahce wages.

“When there is only a small difference then you can find a solution,” Csonto said. “But in this case, the salary of the player in Turkey is four or five times more than what Rangers could offer That makes it impossible.”

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

These comments are certainly the sign of a money-hungry agent (surely Skrtel is willing to take a wage-cut to play at such a historic and well-regarded club), but also reflect the harsh reality of modern football.

Clubs such as Fenerbahce have the luxury to throw around ridiculous sums of money to attract aging stars like Skrtel, while Rangers do not have such funds and are conscious of operating with Financial Fair Play guidelines.

In this case, monetary restrictions look set to derail the transfer of the former Liverpool player, which would have come as a welcome addition of top-class European experience to the Rangers backline.

The unfortunate transfer saga comes as an uncomfortable lesson for Rangers supporters expecting an immediate turnaround under Gerrard, as the club cannot simply buy every single target it admires.

Progress will be more incremental under the Liverpudlian, and a focus on younger starlets Gerrard managed while at the Liverpool academy may prove more realistic targets than big names such as Skrtel who carry bloated contracts and greedy agents.

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Rangers

Steven Gerrard tempting Lucas Leiva to Rangers would be huge coup

The Brazilian midfielder is being linked with a move to Glasgow for a second summer.

Josh Kerr

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Lucas Leiva
Photo: Getty Images

When Steven Gerrard was unveiled as the new Rangers boss over a fortnight ago, fans finally believed they may have found the man to rekindle the ambition and hunger that had been lost at the club in recent years.

The former Liverpool legend has already been linked with brining a number of high profile names to Ibrox and his former teammate Lucas Leiva is the latest being linked with a move to Glasgow.

According to the Scottish Sun, Gerrard is considering making a move for the Brazilian midfielder, who he played alongside across a spell of eight years at Liverpool.

Reports also confirm that Leiva is keen on the idea of being reunited with his former captain, and considering his vast Premier League experience, the midfielder would likely prove a strong addition for the Gers.

(Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Despite Lazio being reluctant to sell their player, the 31-year-old needs to make the most of his final years in football and the chance of being part of Gerrard’s revolution in Scotland could just be enough to convince him to leave Serie A.

The former Liverpool man made 346 appearances for the Merseyside outfit and quickly became a fan favourite for the club. He also has 24 caps for Brazil to his name and, despite not being proven in front of goal, he still has enough in the tank to be an effective asset in Scotland.

Should Rangers manage to sign Leiva, it would be a huge statement.

Luring a proven player away from Serie A would be surprising enough, but considering Brendan Rodgers had hoped to bring him to Celtic just a year ago, it would show just how big an impact Gerrard is already having on the balance of power between the two Glasgow sides.

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Nottingham Forest

Difficult Rangers spell puts Jason Cummings’ Nottingham Forest future in doubt

The 22-year-old made just nine starts at Ibrox.

Josh Kerr

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Jason Cummings
Photo: Getty Images

Jason Cummings’ loan move from Nottingham Forest has come to an end, with the striker returning to his parent club from Rangers. However, his time at Ibrox has failed to give supporters a reason to demand he is kept in Glasgow on a permanent deal.

According to the Scottish Sun, Forest boss Aitor Karanka believes Cummings no longer has a future at the club due to his lack of game time in Scotland. He made just nine starts in all for the Gers, coming off the bench on a further nine occasions in a disappointing loan spell.

The 22-year-old striker arrived at Ibrox with lofty expectations, but he failed to establish himself as a regular in the Gers’ first team and spent more time on the sidelines than he did on the pitch.

The Scotland international netted six goals in total but, despite showing signs of his promising talent, he didn’t demonstrate why new manager Steven Gerrard should acquire his services on a full-time basis.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Cummings was brilliant for Scottish Premier League outfit Hibernian before his move to Forest in the summer of 2017, for a fee, according to the Nottingham Post, to be in the region of £1 million.

Gerrard was brought in to improve on the quality already at the club and, considering the Liverpool legend’s name and reputation, he will feel he can bring in better players than Cummings.

This must now leave the striker worrying about his future with his parent club, who could quite conceivably be tempted to part company with a player who has only scored once in 14 appearances for the two-time European Cup winners.

Once one of Scotland’s most promising strikers, Cummings is facing exile from both of his represented clubs and will be seriously worried as to what the future holds.

Despite struggling to make an impact for the Gers, the two-time Scotland international possesses undeniable talent. If Rangers feel he hasn’t justified a permanent deal, another loan move could bring the best out of the once-promising striker.

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