Deal all but done: Rangers close to sealing playmaker transfer
By Alex Stevens
Rangers have agreed a deal in principle for playmaker Billy Gilmour to join Chelsea this summer, the club have confirmed.
Managing director Stewart Robertson has revealed the Scottish giants have agreed a fee with the Premier League leaders for the transfer of the 15-year-old.
But Robertson has insisted that Rangers have merely protected their position financially and have not given up hope of persuading the highly rated teenager to remain at Ibrox.
Robertson refused to divulge the fee but the Scotsman claim the settled sum will be £600,000 if Gilmour decides he wants to move to Chelsea.
If the youngster was to move on after his 16th birthday without a deal in place, Rangers could only expect to receive training compensation of around £100,000.
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Asked about Chelsea’s intensifying interest, Robertson admitted it was financially sensible for the third-placed Scottish Premiership team to have an agreement in place should Gilmour snub their attempts to persuade him to stay
“We’ve got a position agreed if he was to go,’ Robertson told the Mail of Gilmour. ‘I won’t tell you the number but there is a position agreed.
“It would be negligent of us not to have done that in terms of the governance of the club, but we’d rather not get the money and Billy stayed and went on to have a great career at Rangers.
“We need to protect our position and do the sensible thing because if he goes in the summer without a deal being agreed then he leaves only for a compensation amount.
“‘That would be a helluva lot less than if we had a fee agreed beforehand. We have protected our position on that side of things but we’d like Billy Gilmour to stay at the club.
“Everybody on the football side thinks he’s a fantastic talent and he’s still only 15.”
Asked what he felt the chances were of Gilmour staying beyond the summer, Robertston added: ‘I think there’s a reasonable chance, we’ve done all we can.
“We’ve tried to sell Rangers and the opportunities to him in the best possible way on the basis of his career going forward. We’d give him a platform to go forward.
‘But if there are other big clubs, then we’re all human and his head could be turned. When will there be a final decision? I don’t know for sure. Hopefully sooner rather than later because then everyone knows where they’re going, going forward.
“He’s under contract until he is 16 in June. Ultimately in that situation the player has the power to some extent. There is only so much you can do..”
New manager Pedro Caixinha has admitted he has personally held talks with Gilmour, while Scottish Football Association performance director Mackay has also warned Gilmour of the perils of getting lost in a big-club academy.
Meanwhile, Rangers are next in action on Saturday, when they host Motherwell in a Scottish Premiership fixture at Ibrox.
Caixinha’s side are aiming to narrow the eight-point gap on second-placed Aberdeen, while old foes Celtic prepare to clinch their sixth consecutive title.
In other Rangers transfer news, Caixinha has lined up his first four signings, with deals done for three of them.