Rangers

COMMENT

Veteran Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley looks as though his West Brom career is over as his Hawthorns contract ticks down – and the central defender could be the answer to Steven Gerrard’s defensive problems at Ibrox.

The Light Blues are in the market for several new defenders and have struggled so far to get any deals over the line for defenders yet and a move for McAuley could give the Light Blues some short-term cover.

With Bruno Alves and Fabio Cardoso both disappointing last season and Russell Martin and David Bates moving on, the Gers are short on numbers – and quality – defensively.

Alves is almost certain to miss the start of the season thanks to his participation at the World Cup with Portugal meaning the Ibrox giants could go into the first games in the Europa League with only Cardoso and Ross McCrorie available as central defenders.

McAuley, who stands 6ft 3 tall, isn’t going to be the long-term solution for the Light Blues but a year-loan deal could give the Gers some relief at the start of the season as well as adding a hugely experienced defender to the squad.

Despite struggling for game-time last season as West Brom were relegated from the Premier League, McAuley has continued to impress for Northern Ireland and could be an ideal target for the Light Blues as Gerrard prepares his side for the start of his first season in charge.

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