If a report from Football Scotland is believed to be accurate, Rangers are keeping close eyes on Erik Botheim, who is available on a Bosman after terminating his Krasnodar contract. The Norwegian striking ace joined the Russian outfit back in winter, but the ongoing war has made him exercise the option of ripping up the agreement, as revealed by his agent Jim Solbakken on Instagram.
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The 22-year-old Norway youth international progressed through the academy ranks of Lyn before breaking into their senior side at the age of 15. Then he was roped in by the heavyweights Rosenborg who, however, could not offer him an assured starting role due to a lack of impact in the attacking third. A loan stint at Stabæk did not help him either and the youngster opted for a mutual termination of contract prior to joining FK Bodø/Glimt back in February 2021.
Botheim hit the ground running at his new club and went on to fire in 22 goals as well as 10 assists in 46 games for the Eliteserien champions. His most notable contribution was against Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma when he scored a brace during Glimt’s astounding 6-1 triumph in a Europa Conference League group stage encounter.
Meanwhile, the young ‘number 9’ left his homeland for the first time earlier this year to experience a new challenge in the esteemed Russian Premier League. It did not work out, though, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the rumoured Rangers target is seeking a fresh challenge with no appearance whatsoever in the past six months.
Why Rangers Must Make The Move
Although the Light Blues have scouted him a few times, Sunderland’s Ross Stewart remains the preferred target after playing a crucial role in the Black Cats’ promotion to the Championship. The Scotland international had a decent spell in the Scottish top tier with Ross County before plying his trade at the Stadium of Light and Rangers, aware of his stellar show south of the border, are keen on tying him down to challenge and cover Alfredo Morelos.
Stewart, nevertheless, has still got a year left in his Sunderland deal. The Gers need to splash the cash to secure his services but, at the same time, should monitor Botheim’s situation given his emergence last year. Cedric Itten has left for Young Boys, whereas Giovanni van Bronckhorst does not fancy Fashion Sakala as a centre-forward. Kemar Roofe’s fitness woes forced him to deploy Joe Aribo as a makeshift ‘False 9’ in the absence of Morelos and the gaffer, therefore, must bolster the frontline with reinforcements in the summer window.