By Noel Whelan

6th Oct, 2021 | 9:00pm

Rangers stars set to leave the club in January after Rothwell reported update - pundit

Rangers swooping for Blackburn midfielder Joe Rothwell on a free transfer would be a “bonus” for manager Steven Gerrard, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, predicted “casualties” in the Gers midfield if the 26-year-old joins the club.

As reported by the Sun (October 2nd), the Ibrox club lead the race to sign Rothwell with Blackburn willing to sell as his contract at Ewood Park dwindles.

The ex-Manchester United midfielder is in the final year of his deal, meaning Rangers can approach him with a pre-contract agreement in January.

If Rothwell were to seal a move to the Glasgow side, he would become the Gers’ tenth central midfielder.

Whelan insisted Rangers should look to trim their bloated midfield next summer.

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“Gerrard knows what sort of characters he needs in the squad – I just wonder how he’s going to fit them all in,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“This could be a good signing for them next season when they have the opportunity to start offloading some players.

“Right now, there’s no harm in getting free transfers in but at some point, when you’re rotating a team with too many bodies – some players are going to have to miss out.

“It would be a bonus for Steven Gerrard if he could get this deal done in January or next summer.

“There are too many central midfielders in this Rangers squad and somewhere down the line there’s going to be some casualties leaving the club.”

Rothwell has started every game for Blackburn in the Championship this season, contributing three assists.

The midfielder has made 130 appearances for the Rovers since joining from Oxford in 2018.

In other news, pundit urges Gers board to inject funds after Gerrard plea.