By Alex Stevens
Rangers have announced that eight Academy players will be released at the end of the season – but they will help them all find new clubs.
The Scottish giants have gutted their 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 at the club for many years but have been told the will not be handed new contracts.
Nevertheless, Rangers have come up with a specially prepared transfer plan of action to give the youngsters the best chance of finding a new club.
Head of Academy Craig Mulholland told the Rangers website: “One of the key aspects of the Academy culture is respect and it is important that we break the news to the lads in the correct manner and now look after them as part of our Academy exit policy.
“All of the staff in the Academy will liaise with a range of clubs on the players behalf to assist them find new employment.”
Mulholland revealed each player will be given a presentation with a detailed breakdown of their strengths, sports science results, playing statistics, footage of their performances and a character reference from Academy coach Ian Durrant.
“In line with the values we believe in within the Academy, and indeed the traditions of our club, it is important that we look after these young men in the correct way and provide as much support as possible,” Mulholland told the Rangers website.
“When players leave the Academy we must ensure that they depart as better footballers than when they arrived and as well rounded individuals who can use these attributes to go on and have successful football careers and indeed successful lives.”
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.
In other Rangers news, the club are lining up a big-money double swoop for a Premier League pair.