EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
Rangers have climbed into pole position ahead of English clubs to sign Ryan Kent this summer after indications from Liverpool they will loan him out for another year, Football Insider can reveal.
Manager Steven Gerrard has made no secret of his desire to re-sign the winger, 22, on loan and has revealed talks have taken place with his former club.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider they are increasingly confident of winning the race for Kent as Liverpool prepare to loan him out again rather than sell him.
Liverpool value their academy product at between £10-12million, but have not found a buyer from his many suitors in the English Championship amid fears over paying big-money fees and getting caught into the same FFP hole as Birmingham City last season.
Leeds United are also pushing to sign Kent on loan, but Kent would prefer to continue his development under Gerrard if the green light is given for the sixth loan of his career.
Rangers would have to pay a loan fee well in excess of £1million as well as accept Liverpool’s other terms, including financial penalties in the unlikely event the winger is not in the team.
Kent found the best form of his career last season, scoring six goals and supplying nine assists from 43 matches in all competitions as he ended with the coveted Scottish PFA young player of the year award.
Liverpool are hoping that an even more impressive season in Glasgow for Kent would significantly enhance his value.
This is a view endorsed by Football Insider pundit Noel Whelan, the former striker who had spell north of the border at Aberdeen, Livingston and Dunfermline Athletic.
“Kent showed last season he is a matchwinner and those types of players are worth their weight in gold,” Whelan exclusively told Football Insider.
“By the end of the season he was one of the most feared players in the SPL and his performance against Celtic at Parkhead when Rangers were down to 10 men was outstanding.
“If he can build on that, listen to Steven Gerrard, keep his feet on the ground and learn his trade, there’s no reason why he can’t have an outstanding season at Rangers and be worth £20million next year.”