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Rangers would be quite smart to steal the march for this 24-year-old Bournemouth star

Jack Simpson has attracted loan interest from Middlesbrough

Why Jack Simpson would be a real coup for Rangers on a free transfer

According to The Scottish Sun, Rangers have set their sights on signing Bournemouth defender Jack Simpson on a pre-contract agreement.

The centre-back, who is out of contract at the Vitality Stadium next summer, has also been linked with a move to Championship rivals Cardiff City. Bournemouth are understood to have accepted a bid worth £750,000 for Simpson from the Bluebirds but a move is yet to be completed following the dismissal of Neil Harris in south Wales. (h/t Scottish Sun)

As per the report, Steven Gerrard’s side have now entered the race to sign Simpson. But as opposed to Cardiff, they are willing to integrate him into his plans for the upcoming season by negotiating a pre-contract agreement with the player. The defender is free to talk to other clubs this month if he so desires. 

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Jack Simpson of AFC Bournemouth takes a throw in during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Profile

Born in Weymouth, Jack Simpson joined Bournemouth’s youth ranks back in 2005 and signed his first professional contract in 2015. After impressing across various age-group levels and spending time on loan at AFC Totton in non-league, the centre-back made his competitive debut for the Cherries during the 2017-18 season.

The 24-year-old featured 11 times for Bournemouth in the Premier League over three seasons and has played 9 times in the Championship so far this season. In all competitions so far, Simpson has tallied a total of 35 appearances for the Cherries.

Current scenario

Rangers aren’t really crying out for a new centre-back at the moment, especially after the acquisition of Leon Balogun in the summer. With Connor Goldson very much an undisputed starter and Filip Helander also competing for places, the Gers are quite well-stocked at the heart of the defence. 

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Jack Simpson of AFC Bournemouth scores his sides sixth penalty in the shootout during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Crystal Palace at Vitality Stadium on September 15, 2020, in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Neil Hall – Pool/Getty Images)

Nikola Katic hasn’t featured at all this season as he continues to recover from a long-term anterior cruciate ligament injury. However, the Croatian is expected to be a part of Gerrard’s plans when he makes a comeback, having signed a new contract last season.

The future of George Edmundson, though, remains up in the air after being frozen out of the mix at Ibrox. His chances of playing again for the club look slim, having grabbed the headlines for his breach of Covid-19 regulations last year. Gerrard should, therefore, be open to the prospect of making fresh additions to his backline with an eye on the future.

A real bargain?

Jack Simpson ticks plenty of boxes at Rangers as a promising young centre-back with plenty of untapped potential. The 24-year-old has never really been able to establish himself as a regular fixture at the back for Bournemouth due to stiff competition for places. 

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 09: Jack Simpson of AFC Bournemouth reacts during the FA Cup Third Round match between Oldham Athletic and AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on January 09, 2021, in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

However, he has shown glimpses of his quality and looks capable of evolving into a quality player if provided with regular game time. Plus, his imminent availability on a free transfer should make him more than worth a punt for the Gers as a low-risk signing. 

In truth, Simpson’s experience in the Premier League and Championship could come in handy for Rangers as they look to regain their dominance in Scottish football following a long layoff.

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Verdict

Gerrard has plucked out the likes of Joe Aribo, Goldson, Calvin Bassey, Scott Arfield and Balogun to strengthen his squad. Having said that, Jack Simpson still has his best years ahead of him at 24 and could be a very useful addition to the Rangers squad on a free transfer.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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