Rangers have agreed pre-contract agreements with AFC Bournemouth pair Jack Simpson and Nnamdi Ofoborh, according to the Daily Record.
That will be a big blow to EFL outfits Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic respectively, who have both been linked with the duo this month.
Not content with just getting them to Ibrox next season though, Steven Gerrard is keen to land the pair this month, and the players will inform Bournemouth of their desire to leave before the end of the transfer window, per MailSport (via Daily Record).
It was thought that Cardiff were set to swoop for 24-year-old Simpson earlier in the week, with the Bluebirds having a £750,000 offer accepted and the player booked in for a medical, but he reportedly made a U-turn and opted to remain at the Cherries to weigh-up his options.
Simpson’s waiting may have secured him European football next season, with Rangers so far clear of their nearest rivals Celtic in the league that the trophy already seems secure and their Champions League qualifying round place along with it.
As for Ofoborh, interest from League One side Charlton emerged earlier in the week but manager Lee Bowyer did not seem too confident in securing his signature, saying that the 21-year-old had more ‘attractive offers’.
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Bowyer was absolutely right as his club cannot compete with the likes of Rangers, who are stealing a march over their English rivals to secure some of the most talented summer free agents before anyone else can.
Rangers’ squad looks strong enough as it is, and simply put I’m not sure if this is the best move for both Simpson and Ofoborh.
Sure, the Gers are a big club and the pull of playing in Europe and in front of 50,000 fans at Ibrox (when normality resumes) is a huge factor, but are they really going to get a lot of first-team football?
Simpson would have likely slotted straight into Cardiff’s starting line-up, especially with their injury struggles and Ofoborh likewise would’ve been a key player for the Addicks off the bat – but the decisions have seemingly been made.