Rangers are in a “very strong position” to sign Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson, according to former Gers defender Alan Hutton.
Previous reports have suggested that Johnson has told the Championship club that he wants to leave and make the switch to Ibrox.
It is understood that the Scottish side are set to make a multi-million-pound offer for the midfielder, who is in the final year of his deal with Preston.
That means that Rangers could agree a pre-contract with the 27-year-old in January, meaning they wouldn’t have to pay a transfer fee and Johnson would join them next summer.
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton has suggested that the Ibrox outfit are in a very strong position when it comes to their move for the Preston man.
He said: “If he decides to stay at the moment or they can’t agree a fee, you can sign him on a pre-contract in January for nothing so it’s a very strong position for Rangers to be in at the moment.
“As well, you know he wants to go to the club. It’s different if you’ve got other suitors and people swarming round him. It seems like he’d fancy the move to Rangers.
“While they could pay the money at the moment, if everyone’s willing to wait until January to pick him up on a free, if he actually wants to join your club, you’re holding all the cards so it’s a good situation to be in.”
The Jamaica international was hugely impressive for the North West club last season, scoring 12 times and adding eight assists from midfield, but has been restricted to just 14 minutes as a substitute in the Carabao Cup this term.
Whether his omission from the squad for last weekend’s Championship game against Swansea City was linked to Rangers’ interest remains unclear.
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It’s hard to argue wit Hutton on this one.
If Johnson does indeed want to make the switch to Ibrox then Rangers are in a very strong negotiating position as they can agree a pre-contract in January if they’re unable to prize him away from Preston now.
Given his contributions last term, the midfielder would without doubt be a major loss for Alex Neil but it will be interesting to see whether the Championship club feel it’s best to look to cash in rather than let him leave for free next summer.