By Nick Ware

10th Jan, 2021 | 12:30pm

Doughty race heats up as O'Neill confirms Stoke bid for Rangers target

Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has confirmed his club has made an offer for reported Rangers target Michael Doughty.

This public show of interest in Doughty is sure to wake up a number of clubs who have been linked to the Charlton winger.

Old Firm rivals Celtic are believed to have had two offers rejected in the last transfer window while Rangers are monitoring the situation with Doughty’s contract set to expire in June, and he would be available on a free transfer then.

Speaking after his Stoke side lost 4-0 to Leicester City on Saturday, O’Neill confirmed his Doughty approach, as reported in the Scottish Sun, saying: “We’ve made a bid for Alfie Doughty. Obviously, there are other teams interested as well.”

He added: “We’ll have to wait now and see. The decision rests with the player at this minute in time.”

If Charlton do accept the Stoke bid Doughty may be left with a tough decision as to whether he opts to join the Championship side or if he waits to see if Rangers firm up their interest, with a move to a side in the knock-out stages of the Europa League surely a more attractive proposition.

To bid or not to bid

Rangers will now have to weigh up how serious they are about landing the Charlton winger if they are to beat Stoke and a host of other clubs.

Doughty has only played seven times in League One this season but has suitably impressed with his versatility and strong defensive side.

Per WhoScored Doughty has made an impressive 2.4 tackles per game while lining up in a variety of different positions for the Addicks.

However Doughty has not played since October 24 after suffering a hamstring injury and Steven Gerrard will have to decide whether it is worth bringing in a player in January who may take a while to get up to speed.

Furthermore, it is difficult to see where Doughty would fit into the side given the competition for places but his aforementioned versatility would help him with that.

With O’Neill publicly expressing his admiration for Doughty and confirming a bid has been made for his services Rangers will have to act quickly to ensure they do not regret missing out on his signature.

In other Rangers news, our view on why signing this player will not bring the best out of Alfredo Morelos.