Alan Hutton claims that Rangers “hold all the cards” in their bid to sign Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson.

The former Gers and Scotland full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes that there is little the Championship side can do from stopping the 27-year-old moving to Ibrox either this year or next summer.

As revealed by Football Insider, Johnson has told Preston he wants to leave the club to join Rangers as he heads into the final year of his contract at Deepdale.

This site has since revealed that the Gers are set to table a multi-million-pound bid to prise the attacking midfielder from the Lilywhites.

With Rangers able to approach Johnson over a pre-contract deal in January, Hutton insists the Light Blues are in a fantastic position to get a move over the line.

“If he decides to stay at the moment or they can’t agree a fee, you can sign him on a pre-contract in January for nothing so it’s a very strong position for Rangers to be in at the moment,” Hutton told Football Insider.

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“As well, you know he wants to go to the club. It’s different if you’ve got other suitors and people swarming round him. It seems like he’d fancy the move to Rangers.

“While they could pay the money at the moment, if everyone’s willing to wait until January to pick him up on a free, if he actually wants to join your club, you’re holding all the cards so it’s a good situation to be in.”

Johnson scored 12 times and chipped in with a further eight assists for Preston last season and was tellingly left out of the Lilywhites’ squad against Swansea on Saturday.

He has a total of 184 Championship appearances, 33 goals and 23 assists under his belt.

In other Rangers news, Alex McLeish has detailed why Ryan Kent’s prospective move to Leeds United may have collapsed.