Rangers to let Stephen Kelly leave again as interest from England and Scotland ramps up
Rangers are ready to let midfielder Stephen Kelly leave on loan this summer amid interest above and below the border, the Daily Record reports.
The 22-year-old has hardly featured for the first team at Ibrox and despite entering into the final year of his contract he could again be allowed to make a temporary exit.
His time at Salford City in the 2021/22 season was seen as a success, after previous loan spells at Ayre United and Ross County.
The academy product was brought back to Glasgow for preseason training but according to the latest report, “it is likely that he would be allowed to leave if the right deal could be struck with Rangers and would benefit the player’s career”.
His loan progression was seen as putting him in line for more first-team minutes back in May [Football Scotland], but it looks like that is unlikely to happen with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s midfield stacked.
Interest in his services is apparently high with clubs in the SPFL and English Leagues One and Two queuing up to take him.
End of the road?
Unless the club are planning to offer him a new deal, in the hopes that a latest run in the first team elsewhere finally catapults him into the senior equation at Ibrox, a loan seems unhelpful.
Without that a sale to one of the interested parties, and if at all possible a bidding war of sorts, would surely be better for all.
He may be in a better position to make a contribution in a year’s time but if he then just leaves for free that might as well be brought forward to now.
The Scotland under-21 international has numerous players ahead of him at Ibrox currently, so unless transfer interest in the likes of Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo steps up and they are sold he is going to be struggling for game time with the Gers in the upcoming season.
In four seasons since he graduated from the youth team he has only made three first team appearances so far, and none in the Scottish Premiership.
If the club have plans for him then it would be worthwhile extending his current deal for a couple more seasons and letting him go to one of the clubs within the division who want him.
Then if he proves he has the ability to be a factor in the Scottish top flight he will be better placed to step up for the Bears next summer.