Despite having enough central defensive options, Rangers might still bolster the backline amid rumours of a potential move for Elfsborg sensation Joseph Okumu. Club director Stefan Andreasson, too, has admitted the possibility of his summer exit while speaking to Aftonbladet in a recent interview.
“When the right sporting challenge comes that pays well, we usually find solutions. The focus has been on playing and June will be the month to put the puzzle together. We will sit down with his representatives, who will surely come here in the next few weeks. If the right club comes in and Joseph wants it, we will look into it.”
Revealed Andreasson highlighting ‘concentre interest’ in their prized asset.
Okumu joined the Swedish Allsvenskan side a couple of summers ago after spending a year in the US with Real Monarchs. Dubbed as ‘the new Van Dijk’ by teammate Johan Larsson, the 24-year-old is known for his aerial supremacy, sense of positioning and great passing range while playing it out from the back. The Kenya international has made significant strides of late and is already being chased by Stade de Reims who had an offer of around £1.75m rejected a couple of weeks ago as reported by Expressen.
While Elfsborg would demand a fee in the region of £3.5m, Rangers must assess the situation before participating in the bidding war. Connor Goldson and Filip Helander were immense in the heart of the defence, whereas Leon Balogun did enough to earn a contract extension at Ibrox. Jack Simpson enjoyed a run of games towards the closure of the campaign, and the fans are also eagerly waiting for Nikola Katic’s return after he missed out the entire 2020-21 season with a career-threatening knee injury.
Why Rangers Would Like To Have Him In Their Ranks
Meanwhile, the future of George Edmundson remains uncertain as he was loaned out to Derby County back in the winter after falling down the pecking order behind the likes of Goldson, Helander and Balogun. Moreover, the Gers would be competing for the Champions League qualification and the fitness woes of Helander and Katic might trouble them due to fixture congestion. Balogun, 33 next month, should only be deployed sporadically for his experience and flexibility across the backline. Simpson is still attuning to the demands of Scottish football after completing a January move from Bournemouth and the addition of Okumu would only strengthen the deep defensive line in their battle to protect the coveted crown.
Moreover, the Kenyan has also flourished in a defensive midfield role in recent outings. He has been labelled as the league’s best-ever midfielder by Andreasson and the Bears, thus, must step up the chase to utilize his versatility ahead of a massive campaign.