By Saikat Mandal

17th Jan, 2023 | 9:47pm

Michael Beale makes Filip Helander admission as Rangers exit rumours addressed

Michael Beale has suggested that it’s “news” to him that Rangers defender Filip Helander is supposedly set to leave the club in January.

There have been suggestions from Aftonbladet (10 January) that the Swedish defender could be on his way out of Ibrox. He could leave the club on a free transfer and join Malmo in the summer.

Beale has quashed those rumours and dismissed any imminent departure of the centre-back.

“That’s news to me,” said Beale, as quoted by Glasgow Times.

“He’s a player that I like and a man that I like. He’s one that when you come back into the building and see that he’s on crutches and now the crutches are disappearing you wonder ‘how far away is he?’.

“There’s no news on that at the minute. But yeah, I’ve not heard that rumour.”

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Defender situation

It is really unfortunate that Helander has struggled with fitness. He is a class defender but the Bears haven’t been able to get the best out of him.

He has a contract at the club until 2023, and the club are unlikely to offer him a new deal.

At the same time, it appears that Beale wants him to get fit quickly and get some games for the club before he can leave as a free agent in the summer.

The central defence is one area that Beale needs to address during the summer.

He has Conor Goldson, Ben Davies, John Souttar, Helander and Leon King as major options while James Sands can operate at the back as well.

However, Souttar is injury-prone and he has barely featured this season. Helander is likely to leave in the summer, while there’s no guarantee that Rangers will sign Sands permanently.

In such a scenario, Beale may look to bring in new faces at the back in the summer.

In other Rangers news, the Gers are expected to sign this “World Cup star” in January.