By Doug Ward

16th Jun, 2022 | 7:40am

Rangers in pursuit of West Brom centre-back Cedric Kipre, surplus to requirements for Steve Bruce

Cedric Kipre could leave West Brom this summer amid speculation linking the defender with a move to Rangers, according to The Athletic.

The Express & Star reported on 19 May that the Gers have kept close tabs on Kipre, 25, over the last few years after he previously impressed in Scotland with Motherwell.

The Athletic now reports on 16 June that the Paris-born Ivorian defender has seemingly been deemed as “surplus to requirements” by manager Steve Bruce and as the Baggies “need to offload talent”, the Ibrox-linked player has been listed as someone who could be moved on.

Defensive strength

Rangers have managed to tie down Connor Goldson to a new contract and that has sorted out a bit of a headache for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Ross Wilson.

Calvin Bassey has been strongly linked with a move away from Ibrox but ahead of next season, the centre-back options don’t look too bad with only Leon Balogun, so far, leaving.

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Filip Helander and returning loanee Nikola Katic remain on the books at Ibrox, as does Jack Simpson, although he’s not expected to be involved once the 2022/23 season kicks off.

Kipre wouldn’t be a terrible addition to the defence but he’s not someone who’d come in and replace Aston Villa-linked Bassey if he is signed from West Brom.

Kipre’s a no-nonsense, right-sided defender.

He’s also struggled for game-time at a very poor West Brom in the last season, playing just 14 times in the English Championship and not playing at all after Bruce replaced Valerien Ismael as the manager in early February.

We can do a lot better than Kipre but if he’s available on the cheap, we could take him just to add a bit of depth in the centre-back area.

In other Rangers news, BBC journalist Tom English has hit out over an SPFL announcement about the Light Blues.