Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Chelsea and Arsenal closing in on Rangers wonderkid Billy Gilmour

Billy Gilmour in action for Rangers U20s (SNS Group)
Billy Gilmour in action for Rangers U20s (SNS Group)

RANGERS should learn within the next fortnight whether their sustained efforts to hang on to wonderkid Billy Gilmour have paid off.

The 15-year-old midfielder, star of Scotland’s Victory Shield campaign, is wanted by London giants, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Both are willing to pay handsomely to seal a pre-contract deal now, rather than wait until he turns 16 in the summer.

That’s the stage where, under FIFA guidelines for under-23s, they will have a window in which they can pick him up for a compensation fee of just £100,000.

The Light Blues are desperate to keep Gilmour, and have been pulling out all the stops to persuade him his future is best served by staying put.

Manager Mark Warburton has even had him training with the first team, and recently waxed lyrical about his display for the Light Blues Under-20s in a game against an experienced Dundee side.

“Billy Gilmour is a Rangers player, and I hope very much that he sees a pathway here and works his way through to our first team,” said Warburton.

“Just now he’s 15 and needs to be looked after properly and taken through his development.”

Gilmour could be fast-tracked into the Light Blues’ first team in as little as 18 months.

Yet as much as being his current employers gives Rangers the opportunity to make a prolonged pitch to the player, they face daunting opposition for his signature.

On current form, Chelsea’s Academy is the best in England, with the west London club’s victory in the 2016 FA Youth Cup Final their third in a row, and their fifth in seven years.

And for an example of their pulling power, Rangers need look no further than across the city, where Islam Feruz was lured away from Celtic by Chelsea five years ago.

That the former Scotland youth international has markedly failed to live up to his potential would appear a warning, rather than a selling point.

Arsenal’s Academy, meanwhile, is renowned as being a conveyor belt for the Gunners’ first team.

Of the current side, Alex Iwobi, Francis Coquelin, Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere (on loan at Bournemouth) all came through the system.

Rangers loan midfielder Jon Toral is also a graduate, having been brought over from the Barcelona Academy at the same time as Bellerin.

Another is Gedion Zelalem, whom the Gunners loaned to Rangers last season.

Like Chelsea, they also have a reputation of persuading highly-sought-after teenagers to join.

Either way, Rangers look set to win, with Gilmour set to commit one way or another rather than run down the clock on his deal.