Ryan Jack looks set to extend his stay at Rangers past the end of the season after Michael Beale said he doesn’t expect “any issues” with the Scot remaining at the club.
The Gers midfielder has returned to the Scotland squad under Steve Clarke after a recent run that has seen him play the full 90-minutes in three of the last four SPFL wins, and the Ibrox manager says he is “delighted” with the 31-year-old’s progress.
Jack is one of a number of first-team players whose contracts are expiring in the summer, but Beale wants him back, and in light of how things are currently developing has suggested a prolonged stay in Glasgow is on the cards.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Thursday (16 March) the Gers boss said: “It was good to see him back in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad this week because he’s been missing from two places at times, missing here from Rangers and from and the national team as well.
“He’s an important player in both sides. Focus really firmly on Rangers and if he plays well here and stays fit he’s a big player for us.
“He’s a player that I would want here, I’ve said that publicly, and then onwards and upwards for the national team.
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“I think for Ryan recently he’s played ever so well because he’s felt fit and healthy. We’ve managed him well, so if we continue down that road then I don’t think there’ll be any issues with Ryan being here at Rangers.”
This Light Blues squad is certain to look very different come the start of next season but it appears increasingly likely that Jack will still be there.
Following an attention-grabbing run to the Europa League final last season it was expected that a rebuild would be necessary as sides picked off the key players over the summer, but aside from big-money exits for Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo that didn’t come to pass.
With the SPFL title race a virtual non-entity since before the World Cup break it looks like it would have been better if it had happened, especially with Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos looking set to leave for free in the summer, even if Beale has rubbished the reported agreement between the Colombian and Sevilla.
There is going to need to be some major surgery done to the starting line-up at least, with the summer arrivals’ impact not significant enough outside of Antonio Colak and Malik Tillman.
Beale and the embattled Ibrox board are going to need to be ruthless when it comes to renewing aging players’ deals, because recent battles with Celtic have proven the club can’t be relying on key men from years past.
Allan McGregor is surely gone, Scott Arfield and Steven Davis likely as well, but Beale clearly values Jack so with Nico Raskin brought in and Glen Kamara and John Lundstram both candidates to bring in some profit if sold the Scotland international seems like he might be providing some continuity going forward.
If he can stay fit that’s fine, but given his worrying injury record there is going to need to be strong back-up to guard against further absences so the position still surely requires a talented summer signing.
In other Rangers news, the Gers could be powerless to hold onto a “remarkable” talent as giant clubs circle.