Rangers are hopeful of tying rising star Leon King down to a professional contract after Steven Gerrard personally intervened to stop him quitting, Football Insider can reveal.
The defender, who turned 16 last month, rejected the club’s initial offer of a deal amid strong interest from Premier League clubs.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider there is growing hope King will sign a contract as the club work on persuading him his future is best served by staying at Rangers.
— Ashlie King (@AshlieKing14) January 17, 2020
Gerrard has personally held talks with the teenager, who is regarded as the cream of an exciting crop of youngsters emerging from their youth ranks.
He was made part of the matchday squad for the 2-0 Scottish Cup win against Stranraer last month and travelled on the team coach to the game without making the bench.
Rangers are also making a concerted effort to promote King on their official media channels, including an interview on the eve of their Scottish Youth Cup tie against Partick Thistle last week.
The Scottish giants are desperate to avoid a repeat of the situation in which academy product Billy Gilmour was enticed to Chelsea two years ago.
The club secured a £500,000 compensation fee for the wonderkid but it paled in comparison with what his value may rise to.
King, who captained Scotland Under-17s against Hungary in Spain yesterday, is regarded as equally promising as Gilmour.
That is why Premier League scouts have been watching him so closely and why he has been playing above his age group for club and country for many years.
Football Insider revealed in December that Tottenham and Wolves have joined Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as Bundesliga big guns RB Leipzig, in the race to sign King.
In Scotland, professional term can be signed at the age of 16, one year earlier than in England.
In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that the club have agreed terms of new £4.5million deal.