By George Overhill

2nd Jul, 2022 | 6:40pm

Rangers could not compete with Leeds United, may have to sell Ryan Kent this summer - Kris Boyd

Rangers may have to sell Ryan Kent this summer as they could not compete with a contract offer from England next season, says Kris Boyd.

The English winger is one of the Gers stars who only has 12 months left to run on his current deal, and in the face of potential Premier League competition in a year’s time the club have a decision to make now.

Boyd thinks that the club need to get attacking players through the door to protect themselves against losing the likes of Kent and Alfredo Morelos, and while the financial boost of the Europa League run has strengthened their negotiating position sales might be necessary to avoid departures for nothing.

In a clip posted on the Sky Sports transfer live-blog host Jasper Taylor asks of Kent: “He’s being linked with Leeds. Of course we know that they’re going to have plenty of reserves in the bank once this Kalvin Phillips deal goes through. How important is it for Rangers to tie him down to a new deal?”

The former Gers striker answered: “The reality is that Rangers have got a number of players going out of contract next season, and it’s very unlikely that Rangers will be able to keep every single one of them.

“Usually when you’re coming out of contract you know exactly what type of figures you want… You would imagine that Rangers I don’t think would be able to get anywhere near what Leeds would be able to offer Ryan Kent, say if he was to go there on a free transfer.

“The reality is that Rangers might have to do a few sales this summer so players don’t leave for nothing next season.

“Yes there’ll be players that Rangers want to keep under contract, but as I say they won’t be able to keep everybody.”

Crunch time

Once a contract reaches the final 12 months all options are on the table, and with Kent the ideal outcome would be for him to put his name on a new long-term deal.

Since he hasn’t done that before now it suggests he’s got an eye on moving on at some point, and there have been links to Elland Road repeatedly over recent years.

The talk of a move there had died down of late but the English side are likely to lose their own star winger Raphinha in the near future.

That may be the basis of the latest mention of a link on Sky Sports, but once he becomes available as a free transfer there is sure to be interest from a number of sources if he maintains his level of play.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Ross Wilson have to consider what the value of another year of output from Kent is worth, and whether they can get more than that if they were to sell him now.

Losing a player for free is never enjoyable but transfer fees for players close to the end of their deals are also not strong.

The financial boost from the 2021/22 season that Boyd cited could just as easily make holding onto key men for the final year of their contracts more palatable, even if they end up eventually walking for no fee.

In other Rangers news, interest is ramping up from above and below the border for a player the club are ready to let play elsewhere next season.