By Wayne Veysey
Rangers have agreed the terms of a scholarship agreement with Portugal youth international Umaro Balde, Football Insider has learned.
The midfield enforcer, 16, spent time at the club’s Auchenhowie training headquarters while on an extended trial earlier this year.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that youthful “powerhouse” Balde has committed to a two-year scholarship contract that includes a provision for a professional deal in the future.
Balde impressed the Rangers coaches after spending time at their Auchenhowie training headquarters and they have the green light for him to be signed from Sporting Lisbon on a free transfer.
He joined the club’s youth team set-up along with a clutch of other rising stars and has already features for the Glasgow giants’ youth teams.
Balde, who was born in Guinea-Bissau but has Portuguese citizenship, has been capped five times by his adopted country at Under-15s level and is regarded as a real talent.
Rangers have beefed up their youth team as the club look for a bigger return on the significant investment during the Dave King era into the Academy system at the Hummel Training Centre.
The club are eager for a consistent supply line of youngsters who are able to take the next step and graduate into the first team, something that has been notably absent in recent seasons.
In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that Gerrard and his staff have concerns about Ryan Kent.