Rangers are unlikely to reignite their pursuit of Millwall centre-back Jake Cooper this summer as they expect him to join a Premier League club, Football Insider understands.

The Scottish giants will be in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer if they lose one or more of their four senior central defenders.

Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that the club have continued to keep tabs on Cooper, 25, after they had a £3million bid for him rejected in the summer of 2018.

Millwall were unwilling to offload the 6ft 4in colossus, who subsequently signed a long-term contract in December of that year.

However, the London club are facing a major battle to hang on to him this summer.

As revealed by Football Insider, Aston Villa and Southampton are both keeping a close eye on a centre-back rated one of the best outside of the Premier League.

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Rangers know they can’t compete with the allure and finances of the English top-flight clubs, even though there’s no guarantee Dean Smith and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s sides will remain in that division beyond this season.

Steven Gerrard’s side recruited two centre-backs permanently for seven-figure fees in 2018 – Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson – and followed up a year later by signing Filip Helander and George Edmundson.

Goldson and Katic have suffered massive dips in form since the turn of the year, while Helander has been sidelined with a long-term injury.

Cooper has earned a reputation as one of the best defenders in the Championship since joining Millwall from Reading in the summer of 2017.

The strapping centre-back has been an ever-present in the Championship this season, remarkably playing every minute of the Londoners’ 36 matches.

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