Major Rangers blow as prime attacking target agrees to join English club - Ibrox Sources

Rangers have been hit by a major transfer blow as Wigan Athletic playmaker Nick Powell has agreed to join Stoke City, Football Insider understands.

The Light Blues have been among the clubs closely trailing Powell, who is out of contract at Championship outfit Wigan next month.

Ibrox source have told Football Insider that the 25-year-old former Manchester United and Crewe Alexandra attacker has snubbed interest from Rangers and multiple English clubs to settle terms with Stoke.

Powell has rejected a new deal at Wigan to move to Staffordshire after playing a key role in keeping the Lancashire club in England’s second tier.

He has scored eight goals and supplied seven assists in 32 appearances for the Championship side this term after being instrumental in their promotion from League One last season.

Powell was the most highly-rated English player in his age group when Man United beat off interest from Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham to sign him in the summer of 2012 for an initial £4million.

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Sir Alex Ferguson hailed him as someone who “will fill Paul Scholes’s boots”, a remarkable claim that the young Englishman was unable to live up to before quitting the club in 2016 on a free.

Powell has subsequently matured and reignited his career at Wigan, where he has emerged as one of the outstanding attacking midfielders outside of the Premier League.

In other Rangers news, Jackie McNamara has savaged an Ibrox “flop” who thought Scottish football would be too easy.