The door has opened for Rangers to land summer-of-2020 target Daniel Johnson on a cut-price January deal after he snubbed a big-money Preston North End new contract.
Football Insider exclusively revealed last week that Johnson and his fellow Preston contract rebels Ben Davies and Ben Pearson had rejected club-record offers from the club.
That has opened the door to a fresh Rangers swoop after they held talks over signing him last summer.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that Johnson, 28, remains on their radar this month.
But they would prefer to take advantage of cross-border rules to secure a pre-contract agreement.
That would see Johnson join on a summer free transfer, an alternative to paying the multi-million pound price wanted by Preston in the current window.
The playmaker held talks about a move to Glasgow during the last window and was axed by Alex Neil from the senior squad when a transfer appeared close.
But the two clubs could not agree a fee and Rangers had a £2million bid for Johnson rejected as the Championship club held firm on their £4m valuation.
Johnson’s future at Deepdale is up in the air again after he rejected a new, long-term deal worth £17,000-a-week.
Preston are now keen on securing a fee for him this month rather than lose him on a summer free.
The left footer was omitted from the Preston squad for Saturday’s 4-1 FA Cup defeat at Wycombe Wanderers as Neil left out many first-team regulars.
Operating mainly in a number 10 role, Johnson has scored four goals and supplied three assists from his 18 appearances in all competitions this season.