By Alex Stevens
Billy Gilmour will choose between Rangers and Chelsea after rejecting a transfer to Arsenal, according to a report.
The Scottish Sun claim the Ibrox midfield creator, 15, and his family have visited the Gunners’ training headquarters and were impressed by what they saw.
But it is said that Gilmour now faces a straight choice between learning his trade at Rangers or making a big-money move to Chelsea when he turns 16 in June.
The Scottish Sun report that there is confidence at Stamford Bridge that will fight off Rangers to land highly rated Gilmour.
In turn, Ibrox chiefs privately fear the teenager is bound for Chelsea although their public stance is that they have not given up hope of keeping him.
Rangers have accepted the Premier League leaders’ offer of £500,000 in principle, but only because they could lose the Scotland youngster for less when he turns 16.
Managing director Stewart Robertson has insisted that the Scottish giants have merely protected their position financially and have not given up hope of persuading the highly rated teenager to remain at Ibrox.
Asked about Chelsea’s intensifying interest, Robertson admitted it was financially sensible for the third-placed Scottish Premiership team to have an agreement in place should Gilmour snub their attempts to persuade him to stay
“We’ve got a position agreed if he was to go,’ Robertson told the Mail of Gilmour. ‘I won’t tell you the number but there is a position agreed.
“It would be negligent of us not to have done that in terms of the governance of the club, but we’d rather not get the money and Billy stayed and went on to have a great career at Rangers.
“We need to protect our position and do the sensible thing because if he goes in the summer without a deal being agreed then he leaves only for a compensation amount.”
New manager Pedro Caixinha has admitted he has personally held talks with Gilmour and his parents in an attempt to keep him.
Meanwhile, Rangers are next in action on Saturday when they host Motherwell in a Scottish Premiership fixture at Ibrox.
Caixinha’s side are aiming to narrow the eight-point gap on second-placed Aberdeen, while old foes Celtic prepare to clinch their sixth consecutive title.
In other Rangers transfer news, Caixinha has lined up his first four signings, with deals done for three of them.