By Noel Whelan

12th Dec, 2020 | 2:11pm

Exclusive: Rangers submit pre-Jan offer for sensation, Whelan - 'They've Got Another Gem'

Noel Whelan has been left wowed after Rangers submitted a contract offer to Colombian starlet Juan Alegria.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen and Leeds United forward claimed the 18-year-old forward could turn out to be a “gem”.

Football Insider revealed the Light Blues have prepared a contract offer but negotiations with his club FK Honka have been complicated by Brexit negotiations.

 

Rangers may struggle to secure a work permit for the teenager as he is yet to play for Colombia’s senior side.

Alegria has gone public about his desire to move from Finland to Glasgow after his season was suspended due to coronavirus.

Manager Steven Gerrard admitted the club were “very much aware” of the striker and suggested he would join the club’s academy if he was to make the switch.

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“They’re tapping into Colombian players,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“We know they’ve got lots of flair, they can score goals. Maybe they think they’ve got another gem there.

“They’ve already got a great attacking force and attacking options at that club and maybe that’s just going to add a bit more firepower to an already strong forward unit.

“More competition for places and again they’re looking to the future.

“That’s a sign of a really healthy club that’s in a good place right now.

“They’re starting to plan for the future and next season and they’ll want to be just as competitive as now.”

If Alegri was to move to Ibrox from Finland he would be following the same route as compatriot Alfredo Morelos.

Morelos joined the Gers from HJK in 2017 and has scored 84 goals in 159 appearances across all competitions since his arrival.

In other Rangers news, Kevin Phillips have claimed they have a secret weapon in their pursuit of a big name in January.