Why Rangers must rival Aberdeen as report claims McInnes wants proven SPL playmaker
COMMENT By Will Butcher
Rangers would bolster their chances of clawing in Old Firm rivals Celtic by joining Aberdeen in the race to sign Shaun Maloney from Hull City.
The Scottish Sun understands that Derek McInnes’ Dons are keen on signing the veteran playmaker, who played for rivals Celtic for a combined 10 years during two spells on Parkhead.
McInnes has identified 47-time Scotland international Maloney as a top transfer target as he is available on a free with his contract set to expire, as the Dons prepare to lose Ryan Jack, Niall McGinn and Peter Pawlett.
However, Pedro Caixinha must throw his hat into the ring to sign him, to bolster his side’s creativity in the final third.
Maloney is known for his ability to drift past opponents in the final third as well his eye for goal, ability from set pieces and attacking nous to unlock a defence.
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With the Gers set to lose loanees Emerson Hyndman and Jon Toral, Caixinha is left with very little creativity in the final third but signing Maloney could replace that.
Transfer funds are also set to be limited at Ibrox, with 12 of the Gers 14 signings being brought to Glasgow this season on loan or as a free transfer this season.
Only Joe Garner and Jak Alnwick required a transfer fee, and Maloney would prove another cheap alternative to boost the Gers squad ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
Although he risks upsetting the Old Firm divide, Caixinha would see Rangers inch closer towards reducing the gap between themselves and Celtic because of Maloney’s experience in the Scottish Premiership.
During his Celtic days, Maloney made 94 top-flight appearances for the Hoops, in which he scored 25 goals and laid on another 28 assists in Scotland’s top tier.
That kind of form in front of goal could prove crucial in helping the Gers knock Celtic off their perch.
In other Rangers transfer news, Mark Hateley has outlined how much spending Caixinha must do to clear up Mark Warburton’s mess.