Exclusive: McNamara tips 50-cap int'l to replace 'one of the best' at Ibrox in Rangers hunt


Jackie McNamara has tipped Alan Hutton to replace James Tavernier at Rangers this summer as Steven Gerrard plots a return for the former Aston Villa man.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland star says he cannot see the out-of-contract full-back moving back to Ibrox without the promise of first-team football and that Tavernier is the man standing in his way.

Football Insider revealed on Wednesday that the Light Blues are weighing up taking the 34-year-old back to Glasgow after his contract with Villa expired, with a number of Championship sides also keeping tabs on him.

However, McNamara insists the veteran full-back, who began his career with the Gers, will be seeking a move which offers him regular game time and that a return to Ibrox would be to replace, rather than support, the club’s current captain.

He told Football Insider: “I’m not sure what position (he’d play).

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They’ve obviously got Tavernier, who was probably their best player last year or one of the best. Unless he’s cover for him but I don’t see where he would fit in unless Tavernier was leaving.

“At this stage (of his career) he’ll want to play, is he going to fight it out for Tavernier’s spot? It will be interesting to see with that as well.”

Hutton, who has 50 caps for Scotland, played 33 times for Villa last season on the way to sealing play-off glory, injury forcing him to the sidelines for much of 2019.

The Glasgow-born defender made 88 appearances during his spell at Rangers, finding the back of the net just once.

Meanwhile, Tavernier was an attacking force for Steven Gerrard during the 2018/19 campaign, notching up 17 goals and 20 assists across all competitions.

In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED the club have secured a verbal agreement for the capture of a familiar face at Ibrox.