Rangers will need to negotiate with Southampton’s Chinese owner if they want a clean break for Ross Wilson.
The Ibrox club are after the 36-year-old Scot as their new director of football, with talks between the parties at an advanced stage.
While the initial approach was made by Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson, a personal plea by boss Steven Gerrard added considerable weight to the bid.
That’s significant because Wilson, who is the EPL outfit’s director of football operations, turned down the post when offered it by the Light Blues in the summer of 2017.
Opting to instead to stay put at Southampton, he spoke at the time of not taking the job being one of the most difficult decisions of his career.
Two and a half years on and with Allen having come and gone, it is understood he is ready to take up the challenge with the further discussions planned for this week likely to centre on the logistics of his taking up the post.
With no shortage of work to be getting on with, the Light Blues and Gerrard want him in place as soon possible.
That, though, will depend on Southampton owner Gao Jisheng giving the move his blessing – which is where Rangers are going need to exercise some diplomacy.
Wilson is well regarded by Saints, and indeed in the EPL, where he is credited with having spotted Virgil van Dijk, then with Celtic, as a signing target.
With van Dijk having gone on to be sold for £75 million, a valuation that has since risen considerably at Liverpool, they will know they will be losing a man with the potential to generate them future revenue.
Given the huge difference in financial strength of England and Scotland’s respective top flights, Rangers target will know he will need to operate in a very different transfer market.
His English contacts – he also worked at Watford and Huddersfield Town – should allow him to help Rangers target young EPL players for loan moves before they become too well known.
He will know too, that is an area in which Gerrard’s high standing in the English game will be of huge assistance.
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