By Alex Stevens
Rangers have announced that eight Academy players will be released at the end of the season.
The Scottish giants have gutted the development squad ahead of this summer’s transfer window, including four long-serving youngsters who have been at the club since they were children.
Rangers revealed on their website on Wednesday that Dylan Dykes, Luca Gasparotto, David Brownlie, Darren Ramsay, Mekhi McLeod, Jamie Brandon, Tom Lang and Jamie Mills are all leaving in the coming weeks.
Dykes, Ramsay, Brandon and Mills have all been told they will not be handed new contracts after being at the club for many years.
“It is always a difficult time of year when informing players that they will no longer be at the club,” head of academy Craig Mulholland told the Rangers website.
“Some of the lads such as Dylan, Darren and the two Jamie’s have been with the club from a very young age and it is an emotional time for the staff and the players.
“We wish all the boys well in their future careers.”
Canadian Gasparotto, who has made four first-team appearances, is the most high profile of the departures.
However, according to the Scottish Sun, the 21-year-old could expect to be on his way to Falkirk alongside Hearts pair Sean McKirdy and Liam Henderson, as the three young prospects – all aged 21 or under – have attracted some interest from the team currently placed second in the Scottish Championship.
Gasparotto has previously impressed during loan spells at Airdie and Morton, having made 46 Scottish league appearances across the two clubs throughout each spell.
During his loan spell at Airdrie, the youngster won Young Player of the Year for his role in the club’s 2014/2015 campaign which saw them finish 5th in Scottish League One, a single point outside of the play-offs.
Such performances lead to Gasparotto being capped by the Canadian Under 23’s and if the defender hopes to push on to full senior level, leaving Ibrox to pursue regular first-team action might be regarded as his best option.
In other Rangers news, the club are lining up a big-money double swoop for a Premier League pair.