By Adefunmiloye Alani

3rd Oct, 2021 | 7:10am

Rangers keen on January deal for Blackburn midfielder Joe Rothwell

Rangers are leading the race for Blackburn midfielder Joe Rothwell and already have plans for a January swoop, according to The Sun.

The 26-year-old is out of contract in the summer and can pen a pre-contract with a non-English club during the winter transfer window.

Bears manager Steven Gerrard hopes to pip rivals to Rothwell’s signature by making an early move, and Rovers prefer that.

The English club want to sell him in January in order not to lose him for free at the end of the campaign.

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Brentford were keen on taking Rothwell to the Premier League with them following promotion [The Sun], but a summer deal could not work.

The midfielder is good enough to play in the English top-flight, and it appears his quality has attracted Rangers.

Gerrard’s side have had to deal with injuries and positive coronavirus cases this term, and that has weakened their midfield.

Juninho Bacuna picked up a knock during Thursday’s Europa League loss to Sparta Prague, and Nnamdi Ofoborh remains out for the mean time.

The Premiership giants need to bolster their squad going forward, and if they are unable to meet Rovers’ demands in January, they can get him to agree a pre-contract ahead of a free move in the summer.

Rothwell has three assists in 11 Championship games in 2021-22 after ending last season with three goals and four assists in 39 league games.

He can play on the left of the attack and even in defensive midfield, and that versatility could come in handy at Ibrox should a Rangers deal work out.

In other Rangers news, SPFL duo are under pressure to ban Bears fans after major development.