Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has confirmed that he spoke to Rangers officials about striker Tyrese Campbell, amid strong interest from the Gers.
Speaking to The Athletic, O’Neill confirmed that both Rangers and Celtic were hopeful of signing the striker, saying: “Tyrese was going out of the club when I came. He’d checked out; six months to go, could sign a pre-contract, go cross-border. There was interest in him from both Celtic and Rangers.”
O’Neill went on to reveal conversations he had with Rangers director John Greig after the striker’s contract had been signed: “I was at Hearts v Rangers after that. I was in the boardroom and John Greig came over to me and said, ‘You kept your striker, didn’t you?’ I said, ‘Aye’. He was laughing.
“Rangers had high hopes. It would have been easy for Tyrese to leave.”
Campbell has recently signed a new Stoke contract, but prior to that deal, there was heavy speculation that he would be leaving the Championship side.
Football Insider reported back in January that Steven Gerrard’s men had put a tempting contract offer on the table.
However, he went on to sign a new four-and-a-half-year deal with Stoke later that month.
A potential bargain missed
O’Neill confirmed in the report that Campbell could have joined Rangers for around £400,000 and the Gers’ summer business highlights what a bargain that could have been.
While he is still in his early days at the club, Rangers were forced to pay around £3million for Swiss striker Cedric Itten.
Three years his junior, Campbell is slightly less experienced but could have a higher sell-on value being an England youth international.
Campbell is now already valued at £4.05m by Transfermarkt and with regular game time in Scotland and potential European football, it is easy to see how that figure could have continued to rise.
Prior to a serious knee injury that looks like it will sideline him for the remainder of the campaign, Campbell was in red hot form this season.
He has scored six goals in the Championship and registered seven assists, winning back-to-back Player of the Month awards.
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