COMMENT By Editor Wayne Veysey
It is little wonder that Rangers reportedly made a last-gasp bid to sign Aston Villa outcast Ross McCormack on deadline day.
What a signing the 31-year-old would have been for the Glasgow giants as they attempt to narrow the gap on champions Celtic.
The Daily Mail claimed on their transfer news blog on Thursday (10.57am) that Rangers swooped for McCormack in an eleventh-hour attempt to beat Sunderland to his signature.
In the event, not only did Pedro Caixinha’s team miss out by the 11pm cut-off but also Sunderland, who held extensive talks about signing the Scotland international on a season-long loan but could not come to an agreement with Villa over how much they would pay of the player’s not inconsiderable wages.
The Mail claim McCormack signed a £45,000-a-week contract when he became the Championship £12million record signing in July 2016.
That is the sort of money Rangers just can’t afford to pay. Neither can Celtic, either.
But some clever divvy-up of sums, with the Light Blues paying a percentage of McCormack’s salary, could have enabled a deal to have been struck.
The return of a player who made just 10 appearances for Rangers during his stint at the club as a 20-year-old would have provided far greater attacking thrust to a team who struggle to break down anything other than the most generous of opponents.
It is not too far-fetched to state McCormack would have enabled Caixinha’s side to battle Celtic for the league title.
Just look at his record. He is a Championship specialist and has been a goal machine for the majority of the last decade.
His 333 appearances at that level have yielded 120 goals and 58 assists, and he was even more prolific at previous club Fulham than at Leeds, where he had four golden years.
Kenny Miller currently sits in the number 10 role, where McCormack is also best used rather than as a striker or as wide man. The younger man has certainly got the edge on 37-year-old Miller.
His ability to create and score goals would have been invaluable, as would his skill at designing the play.
Forget talk that McCormack is past it. He might not be Steve Bruce’s cup of tea, but he only turned 31 a fortnight ago and has a number of years at the top if he can sort out his Villa issues and get back on the pitch.
This is not a deal Rangers should give up on.
He would be just as brilliant as signing in the January transfer window.
In other Rangers transfer news, a manager of an English club has revealed what he’s been told about this Gers 22-year-old.