By Will Butcher
Rangers have moved a step closer to the signing of Jak Alnwick after Port Vale lined up a replacement in Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi, according to a reliable journalist.
Sun correspondent Alan Nixon has now revealed on his personal Twitter account that Alnwick’s current side have lined up free agent Haghighi to replace the former Newcastle stopper.
A 23-time Iran international, Haghighi is looking for a new home after being released by Portuguese side Maritimo and has experience in the Europa League and the 2012 World Cup.
Rangers had a bid worth £250,000 accepted for Alnwick last week, and he is now set to challenge previously undisputed first-choice goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
Alnwick’s impending move to Glasgow comes after veteran Matt Gilks was set to confirm a move to Championship outfit Wigan Athletic.
Alnwick, a two-time England Under-18 international, is now set to move north to replace Gilks despite his wonderful form in between the sticks for Vale this season.
Keeping one clean sheet every three games, Alnwick has prevented the opposition from scoring on 10 separate occasions and that form has caught the eye of manager Mark Warburton.
Football Insider verdict:
Rangers are exchanging Gilks for a goalkeeper that has 11 more years left in his career than the former Blackpool stopper, with Gilks turning 34 in June of last year. Alnwick is highly rated after his wonderful performances in League One this season, and is a bargain at just £250,000. With Gilks unable to provide any kind of competition to Foderingham, Alnwick will keep the former Swindon Town stopper on his toes and could even break into the first team past the Gers current number one. With Port Vale now bringing in Haghighi, they seem resigned to losing their goalkeeper.
In other Rangers transfer news, Chelsea are on the verge of capturing this Gers star.