By Alex Stevens
Rangers will open talks this week with Liverpool midfielder Jordan Rossiter, according to a report.
The 19-year-old Anfield Academy graduate has provisionally indicated he is keen to join the Scottish giants when his contract expires at the Premier League giants next month.
According to the Daily Mail, negotiations with the player are set to take place over the coming days to formalise the deal.
It is said Liverpool would demand at least £8million in compensation for the England international were he to join another English club.
But because Rossiter is out of contract at the end of the season he is able to exploit a FIFA loophole allowing him to join a club outside of England for just £250,000.
The Liverpool Echo report that the Scottish giants contacted the Merseysiders on Friday afternoon to ask for permission to officially approach the midfielder.
Rangers had been given indications that Rossiter had made up his mind to move north of the border and play in the Scottish Premiership next season.
Rangers are said to be confident that the teenager will be their first signing of the summer as manager Mark Warburton prepares the team for life back in the top flight next season.
Warburton has made it clear that he wants the newly promoted club to sign up to eight new players this summer as he strengthens the squad.
Liverpool would have taken it to a tribunal if Rossiter had wanted to sign for another English club but the youngster has taken advantage of a loophole in the rules to move for a cut-price fee.
Rangers’ head of recruitment Frank McParland, the former Liverpool Academy director, is a big admirer of the tough-tackling midfielder and provided a glowing endorsement to Warburton.
The England Under-19s international has been forced to weigh up his options in recent months with no new contract on the table.
According to the Echo, Liverpool did belatedly offer him an extension but that was largely to ensure that they would be able to claim a compensation fee if he left.
Rossiter, who joined the Liverpool Academy at the age of six and grew up in Everton Valley, was handed his debut in a League Cup tie aged 17 and made five appearances in total for the first team.
But there has been no indication he figures in Jurgen Klopp’s plans in a campaign in which the youngsters have been handed lots of first-team chances due to the team’s gruelling fixture list and various injury problems.
In other Rangers news, one of the team’s emerging stars could be playing in the Premier League next season.