Rangers still face a battle keeping hold of James Tavernier this summer despite his wretched pre-lockdown form.
That is according to ex-Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about a player he regards as a “fantastic, modern-day right-back”.
The future of the club captain and long-serving right-back, 28, was up in the air back in March with his reputation dented by the post-winter break meltdown and he was tipped by many to be first out of the door as part of a summer overhaul.
Football Insider revealed earlier this week that Rangers are working on using social media and club channels to claw back support for Tavernier from the fanbase with a series of upbeat posts to generate some goodwill.
Supporters were furious with Tavernier after he used his programme notes ahead of the shock 1-0 home defeat to Hamilton Academical in early March to admit the team can’t cope under pressure.
Whelan believes there will be interest in Tavernier this summer – the likes of Newcastle United, Aston Villa and West Brom have previously tabled bids or enquiries – and it is not cut-and-dried that he is staying.
“Tavernier has been captain of Rangers for some time now,” he told Football Insider. “A fantastic right-back who gets up and down the line and has an eye for goal.
“He has had interest in him, there was talk of a £7m bid in the past. There will be teams looking at him this summer because this modern day wing-back has to tick every single box.”
Tavernier has made a remarkable 241 appearances in five seasons for Rangers since signing from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2015 and has an outstanding scoring and assisting record for an ostensibly defensive player.
He has two years remaining on the contract that he signed in September 2018.