Rangers have a centre-back dilemma on their hands but comments from Steven Gerrard suggest Leon Balogun will be one who sticks around next season.
After capturing Jack Simpson from Bournemouth on deadline-day the Light Blues currently have six central defenders on their books with Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Nikola Katic also at the club, while George Edmundson is still contracted but on loan at Derby County for the rest of the season.
Edmundson’s days look numbered but the Gers would still be left with five senior defenders who will all be expecting to be first-team regulars so there will surely be another casualty before next season’s campaign gets underway.
However, Balogun’s position looks relatively comfortable judging by recent comments from Gerrard, as quoted by Herald Scotland. He said: “We have six centre backs at the moment but that won’t be the case in the summer.
“Leon has something in his contract that might trigger on its own in the coming weeks.
“But we don’t have to wait for that because we are really happy with the player and I want him around for next season anyway.”
Katic v Helander?
With Balogun and new-boy Simpson presumably safe then that leaves potentially one to leave out of three, assuming Edmondson will be off as well.
Goldson has been a Rangers ever-present this season and is indispensable to Gerrard’s side so unless he forces a move we cannot see him going anywhere fast.
That leaves Helander and Katic as ripe for the chopping board and they have certainly experienced different seasons.
Helander endured an injury-hit campaign last term and made just eight Premiership appearances but he has already doubled that amount this season and has started the last three matches, even scoring on his return to the team against Ross County on January 23.
Meanwhile Katic is yet to turn out for the Light Blues this season after rupturing his cruciate ligament in pre-season but he has credit in the bank from his first two campaigns at Ibrox.
He even has an Old Firm winning-goal in his locker which has helped his popularity to soar and he still remains fresh in the minds of fans.
Katic has age on his side against Helander with three years separating them but with the Swede impressing of late it remains to be seen whether age and past form will save him from the Ibrox chopping block.
Gerrard might wait to see the condition of Katic when he returns from his long absence and he will hope to see him line up before the end of the season so he can get a good look before making his big summer decision.
In other Rangers news, reported Gers target refuses new contract.