By Wayne Veysey
Rangers are braced for late-window interest in James Tavernier in a transfer triangle with Newcastle United and Aston Villa, Football Insider understands.
Newcastle are in the market for a new right-back and have set their sights on experienced Villa man Ahmed Elmohamady, signed twice in the past by Steve Bruce.
The Magpies have also submitted an offer for Swedish right-back Emil Krafth but are ready to turn their attention to Tavernier if they do not get the pair.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that Rangers will hold out for £10million for their club captain as he is at a peak age – 27 – and has three years remaining on his contract.
That could put off Newcastle, who do not want to pay more than £5million for the solution to their right-back problems.
Should Bruce succeed in prising Egyptian Elmohamady from his former club, Villa may then set their sights back on Tavernier to challenge Frederic Guilbert for the right-back slot in the new season.
The Frenchman has joined from Caen after being loaned back to the Ligue 2 club in January following his initial capture, and has impressed in pre-season.
Dean Smith can also call upon James Bree, 21, at right-back, but may regard the proven calibre and experience of Tavernier as more significant.
Rangers will do all they can to keep Tavernier, who is a solid defender, a prodigious creator and scorer of goals – he scored 17 times and assisted 20 others in 57 matches last season – and is a durable and reliable performer who hardly ever misses a game.