By Doug Ward

1st Jul, 2022 | 7:19am

Rangers tell Stephen Kelly he's free to leave amid transfer development at Ibrox

Rangers have told midfielder Stephen Kelly he’s free to leave Ibrox on a permanent basis this summer, according to The Daily Record.

The newspaper reported via their print edition on Friday (1 July, back page and page 52) that Kelly, 22, is headed for the exit doors at Ibrox if he can find the right club.

The former Scotland Under-21s central midfielder returned to Auchenhowie on Thursday (30 June) for pre-season training but he now finds himself on his way out of the Scottish Cup champions amid interest from the Scottish Premiership, English League One and League Two.

It is understood that Rangers would be willing to loan Kelly out but as he’s in the final year of his contract, a permanent deal will be accepted “if the right deal can be struck”.

Good luck, Stephen

We cannot say we’re shocked to see this.

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Kelly has only ever made three senior appearances for Rangers Football Club and last season, he was on loan at Salford City in England’s League Two.

He joined them in January and played 21 times in total, starting 18 times.

There was some success in that loan spell at Salford as he played a key role for the English fourth-tier club and he even managed to get himself on the scoresheet once, assisting a further two goals.

Is that Kelly’s level?

If it is, he’s obviously got no future at Ibrox.

Rangers are now a team that’s seriously competitive in Europe and have a big chance of winning the Scottish Premiership title next season.

Kelly is never going to get any game-time so the club might as well get rid of him on a permanent basis.

A loan wouldn’t be terrible as long as the loaning club pays his wages but that might not be the case.

We’re better off getting some cash and freeing up whatever wages he’s earning.

In other Rangers news, this player will jet into Glasgow soon after personal terms were agreed to sign him.