Rangers are laying the groundwork for a top-class striker signing to potentially replace star man Alfredo Morelos, Football Insider understands.
The Scottish champions’ main summer business is likely to hinge on whether their Colombian striker secures the transfer he has made no attempt to hide is his main ambition.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that the club’s recruitment team are assessing potential targets who could slot into Steven Gerrard’s side and be the main spearhead.
This site broke the news on Monday (29th March) that Rangers sent scouts to watch Jonson Clarke-Harris in action for Peterborough against Accrington last Saturday.
In perfect timing, the top scorer across all four professional divisions banged in a hat-trick to lift his tally of league goals for the season to a remarkable 25.
It is fair to assume Rangers talent spotters will be keeping a very close eye on Clarke-Harris, 26, over the final weeks of the League One season.
The battle for his summer signature is likely to be as intense as that of his London Road goal machine predecessor Ivan Toney.
He was also the subject of strong interest from Rangers before agreeing a move to Brentford last summer worth £9million including add-ons.
Toney is probably worth double, if not triple, that fee on the back of a 28-goal Championship campaign that puts him top of the pile in England this season.
Rangers will face competition from the Championship elite for Clarke-Harris and how far they are willing to go depends upon Morelos’ situation.
The Colombian has further cemented himself in Ibrox folklore in recent months, not only with some outstanding displays en route to securing the title with months to spare.
But also with the celebrations that show how much the team’s success has meant to a player who has always walked a fine line between heart-on-sleeve passion and out-of-control excessiveness.
Morelos revealed to Colombian radio station Caracol earlier this month that his biggest dream is to play in the English Premier League.
Manager Steven Gerrard cryptically claimed “I know why he likes this competition” after the Colombian spearheaded a thrilling Europa League 5-2 win over Royal Antwerp to book a place in the last 16.
Will Morelos’ European performances in particular be enough to persuade clubs in England and on the Continent to pay big money for him in the next window?
The answer to that is central to the player’s future and Rangers’ entire summer.
The Glasgow giants would have accepted a bid of around £12m for Morelos at the end of the last summer window after they were unable to agree a deal with his most persistent suitors Lille.
Talk of a potential £15m fee in a market heavily impacted by the pandemic could be fanciful.
Aged 24, he is approaching his peak but has a relatively meagre 16 goals in all competitions this season compared to his 29-goal haul last term.
There is likely to be at least one significant player sale at Rangers to fund spending in other areas of the squad.
Morelos is out of contract in the summer of 2023 and last signed a new deal in March 2019.
Rangers posted a loss of £15.9million in their most recent financial results despite revenue increasing 11 per cent.
The likelihood is that the club will finally cash in on Morelos in the next window, or tie him down to a blockbuster new contract.
In other news, £6m will seal deal for Rangers 27-year-old wanted by big guns.