By Nick Ware

23rd Jul, 2021 | 5:10pm

Rangers insert contract clause as defender James Maxwell on verge of Ayr United loan switch

Rangers left-back James Maxwell is on the verge of sealing a loan exit to Scottish Championship club Ayr United, according to the Glasgow Times.

The 19-year-old spent last season on loan at Queen of the South, making 32 appearances and scoring five times.

He’s now set to join their second-tier rivals on a season-long loan, though it is “understood” that the Gers will hold an option to recall him in January.

Rangers were said to be considering keeping him around to train with the first team while playing for the B team.

But he’s now heading for Ayr, who have beaten off interest from Norway, and will be unveiled next week as long as there are no injuries or covid-related issues with Borna Barisic and Calvin Bassey before then.

Set to star for one final time in the second-tier?

On the face of it, Maxwell had done enough to earn a loan move to the Scottish Premiership.

He impressed at Queen of the South and chipped in with some important goals from defence, and thus he may have harboured hopes of a top-tier switch.

However, there are only 12 clubs in the league, and that is narrowed down to 10 without the Old Firm.

His options were therefore limited, with some clubs not looking in that area of the pitch.

Rangers, as well as Maxwell, will be desperate for him to continue his development and ensure he receives regular game time, so another move to the Championship makes sense.

Bassey and Barisic will be looking to fight it out for the left-back berth at the Gers this season, and it could be a big campaign for the former who was not granted many opportunities last term.

Should the former Leicester City player failed to take his chance, Maxwell may be handed a promotion into the Light Blues first team next season.

In other Rangers news, The Athletic share what fans were chanting towards Kieran Tierney during the Arsenal clash at Ibrox.