Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister has insisted that right-back James Tavernier is “going to be key” for the Ibrox giants this season – despite closing in on the signing of Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan.

McAllister confirmed the Gers are putting Flanagan through a medical ahead of an Ibrox switch but was adamant that former Wigan defender is a vital part of the Light Blues’ plans – despite reported interest from south of the border.

The defender has been a mainstay in the side since arriving at Ibrox – and McAllister claimed he has been a “stand-out” for the Gers in recent seasons.

“In this period where Rangers have taken a bit of criticism, James has been one of the stand-out players and he is going to be key for us,” McAllister said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

Football Insider verdict:

Signing Flanagan only to get rid of Tavernier would be a backwards step and having one to challenge the other for a place in the side will help the Gers improve. Tavernier has taken some flak over the last few seasons but has been one of the Light Blues most consistent performers and getting rid of him would weaken the side. With Flanagan’s injury problems in the last few years, it would make even less sense to have him as the only right-back at the club. If Flanagan comes in and can take Tavernier’s place in the first-team and prove his fitness then it could open the door for Tavernier to move on but as things stand it doesn’t make any sense to let the mainstay leave. The only circumstance that would make a move for Tavernier happen soon would likely be if there is an exceptional bid made but with the figures reported so far, that isn’t currently on the table.

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