By Nick Ware

16th Jul, 2021 | 1:13pm

Neil Lennon delivers James Tavernier Rangers exit verdict

Neil Lennon believes it would take a big bid to convince Rangers to part ways with their captain James Tavernier.

The 29-year-old joined the Gers in 2015 and played an instrumental role in their rise from the Scottish second-tier to invincible Premiership champions.

However, there have been reports in recent months suggesting the right-back is being lined up by elite clubs in England, such as Manchester United [90min].

Speaking on talkSPORT [16/07/21], Jim White turned to Lennon and said: “I don’t know why this is coming to light because I think he signed a new deal, James Tavernier, is it your belief that eventually he will become an established Premier League player, but down here [England]?”

Ex-Celtic boss Lennon replied: “I certainly think he’s good enough to do that but he signed a new long-term deal at Rangers and he’s the captain, it would have to take a big bid to prise him away, Jim.”

No danger

If Tavernier was a few years younger then maybe there would be a conversation to be had, but the defender will turn 30 in October and that will surely reduce any interest in him from Premier League sides.

His resale will be limited which would instantly disturb some clubs, while his peak years will be on the wane.

Furthemore, from Tavernier’s side, he has the chance to play Champions League football with Rangers this year, and potentially for a few more years to come, so why would he turn that opportunity down at this stage of his career?

Tavernier was bouncing around the lower leagues in England before the Gers took a chance on him, and he has repaid that faith handsomely.

Despite some difficulties, his relationship with Rangers fans has blossomed and taking all that into account, that connection, his regular starting berth, and chance of regular European football, it’s hard to see him leave Ibrox any time soon.

In other Rangers news, this player has returned to Auchenhowie already despite being released after not showing up for training.