By Danny Wright

22nd Jan, 2018 | 7:09am

English club in hunt for Rangers defender after door is opened, discussions underway over contract - report

Sunderland are in the hunt to sign Rangers defender David Bates, according to a report.
The Daily Record claims that the Light Blues are running the risk of losing Bates, 21, for a measly five-figure compensation fee as the defender’s contract at Ibrox is due to expire at the end of the season.
It is understood that discussions are underway over a new contract between the Glasgow club and Bates’ representatives but the door has been opened for the ex-Raith Rovers ace to leave Ibrox in the summer as his current deal winds down.
English Championship club Sunderland are said to hold a firm interest in the centre-back and could make a formal offer.
Bates is said to be keen on staying at Rangers, but an approach from the Black Cats may make him consider his options, especially now as he may have fell down the pecking order following Russell Martin’s move from Norwich.
The defender has made just six appearances in all competitions for the Light Blues this season, starting just twice in the Scottish Premiership.
He put in a man of the match shift against Celtic in the 0-0 Old Firm derby in December.
Football Insider verdict
Bates was a shock signing at Ibrox when he arrived from Raith Rovers, and it would still be a shock to see Rangers fight so hard to keep hold of him. Bates is not a terrible player, but neither is he a good one, and he simply does not meet the quality of player that the Gers need in order to reach their goals. He has made just six appearances this season – he is not a key player by any stretch of imagination and one good outing against Celtic does not mean he is worth keeping around. The last game he started before the Old Firm clash was a 2-1 defeat to Kilmarnock and in the summer he was also a key underperformer in the loss to Progres.
In other Rangers news, there have been discussions held about the Gers’ hunt to sign this international playmaker from the Premier League.
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