By George Overhill

14th Jul, 2022 | 6:10pm

Rangers defender Calvin Bassey and Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder have had extensive direct contact

Ajax boss Alfred Shreuder has already have a long phone call with Rangers defender Calvin Bassey, according to De Telegraaf in the Netherlands.

The Dutch giants are one of two sides who have reportedly made an offer for the Nigerian international, along with Brighton, with neither satisfying the Gers [Daily Mail].

But with the new manager at the Amsterdam Arena about to lose defender Lisandro Martinez to his predecessor Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, he is due to have money to spend on a replacement.

The Argentine is expected to move for £46million, which would more than cover the £25million-plus that is thought to be required to tempt Ibrox officials.

According to De Telegraaf Schreuder is “very charmed” by Bassey and the pair have “already spoke extensively by telephone” ahead of a potential move.

Although the report says that it is not known how much money they will have to chase the 22-year-old who has two years left on his contract.

Ties

The latest developments are not necessarily anything unexpected, as the defender’s performances through the 2021/22 season were of a standard that made it impossible for clubs not to take notice.

Aston Villa were noted as the main option earlier in the transfer window, although Steven Gerrard’s presence there always makes them a potential suitor.

Talk had died down for some time but it was always likely that other sides would come calling.

Surely the club’s position hasn’t changed though and it is going to take somebody willing to stump up big money to land him.

With Ajax and Brighton likely to lose defenders to Manchester – Marc Cucurella is a target for City – for large sums they would obviously have to test the waters in Glasgow.

Direct contact between manager and player used to constitute tapping up but appears to be something that happens regularly these days.

The main risk is that Bassey’s head can be turned to such an extent that he starts to agitate for a move, with his position previously believed to be open to a move without pushing.

But either way, if Rangers maintain their position then nothing much has changed until an offer arrives that suits them.

It could well do so as big-money moves around Europe come together, so the Bears will need to identify their preferred replacement.

The club have done a good job of keeping the squad together for the most part, but if Bassey has to go it will need to be for a sizeable fee, in which case it is a blow but doesn’t have to be a bad one.

In other Rangers news, there is a major new contract announcement on the way from Ibrox soon.