By Richard Parks
Rangers chairman Dave King has made a pivotal transfer move by sanctioning a new contract for James Tavernier, according to a report.
The Scottish Daily Mail claim the Ibrox chief has given the green light for the Light Blues to tie the right-back, 27, to a new deal that runs until the summer of 2021.
It is said that South Africa-based King “has been keen to reward Tavernier for his eye-catching displays this term and to also protect the value of one of Rangers’ leading squad assets”.
By extending Tavernier’s contract, which expires in June of next year, Rangers are enhancing the player’s transfer value as well as holding on to someone who manager Graeme Murty hailed only last week as “the best right-back in the country”.
The Mail report that Sunderland and Reading were among the clubs trailing the right-sided defender in the January window.
But Rangers have moved to tie Tavernier down and talks between his camp and director of football Mark Allen have progressed to the point where he is set to sit down and pen a three-and-a-half year deal on improved terms.
The contract is not yet signed, according to the Mail, but will be done so imminently.
Tavernier has played some of the best football of his career this season and has established an excellent rapport on the right flank with Daniel Candeias.
His forward raids are an integral part of Rangers’ attacking player and it is a huge achievement that an ostensibly defensive player has scored six goals and supplied eight assists from 32 matches this season.