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