Alex McLeish believes that Blackburn Rovers midfielder Joe Rothwell could be a good addition to Rangers’ ranks as they track the 26-year-old ahead of the January transfer window.
The ex-Manchester United academy graduate has been linked with a switch to Ibrox by The Sun’s Alan Nixon, and with Rothwell’s contract expiring at Ewood Park at the end of the season the Gers are able to approach the player on a pre-contract arrangement for next season when 2022 begins.
Rovers though could be looking to cash in in Rothwell should he not be interested in signing a new deal and he could potentially bolster Steven Gerrard’s options in the attacking midfield area.
23 questions about some of Blackburn Rovers’ best ever academy graduates – Can you score full marks?
The midfield is an area that Rangers seem to be quite strong in, but their interest in Rothwell could mean that one or two perhaps depart in January.
McLeish managed Rangers between 2001 and 2006 and he believes that the potential signing of Rothwell would represent smart business by the Scottish Premiership champions.
“Joe Rothwell came on the scene a couple of years ago and was almost an unknown quantity,” McLeish said, per Football Insider.
“He figured really well in his early days, and I remember people thinking he was going to go to a higher level very quickly after.
“I guess he’s now on the radar because of his consistency, and Rangers have picked up some really good signings and Rothwell could be another one.
“It’s been the same with others who came to Rangers. You get some people doubting it and some others saying it’s a great signing.
“I can’t say if he is going to come and be outstanding. The proof in the pudding is getting on that pitch at Ibrox in front of those fans.”
Blackburn are in a bit of a pickle when it comes to contracts coming to an end, with Rothwell not the only one who has a deal expiring along with Ben Brereton Diaz and Ryan Nyambe.
Rangers, along with Celtic, know that they can pluck the better players from mid-table Championship clubs if their deals are up for renewal as they can offer European football and massive crowds, which is a big deal-sealer for many.
Rothwell may be no different – he’s clearly not penned a new deal at Ewood Park for a reason and he could very well be looking for a way out of the club.
Whether Rangers opt to go the pre-contract way or they offer a fee mid-season, it would no doubt be a solid addition to Gerrard’s ranks and it will only drive the competitiveness of the battle to get in his midfield.