Michael Beale issues latest on Todd Cantwell transfer pursuit as Rangers boss delivers injury update ahead of League Cup semi-final

The Norwich City midfielder is close to completing a January switch to Ibrox, with further arrivals expected “in the next week or so”.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Rangers boss Michael Beale hinted a deal for Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell is close to being finalised as he confirmed “one or two” transfers will be concluded over the course of the next week.

The Light Blues manager have been working hard behind the scenes to strengthen his squad in their pursuit to close the gap on Premiership leaders Celtic, with former England Under-21 international Cantwell and Everton’s Tom Davies strongly linked with moves to Ibrox this month.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fans are growing frustrated at the lack of transfer activity completed by the club approaching the halfway point of the January window, but it seems increasingly likely that speculation around Cantwell’s imminent arrival in Glasgow isn’t “that far off the track,” according to Beale.

Rangers are working on a deal to sign Norwich City midfielder Todd CantwellRangers are working on a deal to sign Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell
Rangers are working on a deal to sign Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell

New Canaries boss David Wagner has left the 24-year-old out of his matchday squad to face Preston North End tomorrow and told Cantwell he is free to leave Carrow Road amid negotiations with other clubs.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Viaplay Cup semi-final showdown against Aberdeen at Hampden Park, Beale offered an insight into the business he has been working on. He stated: “It’s progressed well. I’m pleased with where everything is at. As soon as there is news we’ll let everyone know but these things take a little bit of time. My bit is done and it’s now over to other people to finalise things.

“As far as I can see, I’m really pleased with the way two or three things are going, they’re heading in the right direction. I didn’t think anyone would be in before this game and I didn’t really want to disrupt the group either because it’s quite settled at the moment. Hopefully in the next week or so we’ll see one or two things being confirmed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Listen, it could be up to three or four. It could be one or two. They’ve got to be the right people. There’s been meetings going on and its been positive. These things are never as fast as the fans want to happen when the window opens, it doesn’t always work like that.

“If I don’t think players are right for us longer term, and that is to fight for trophies and to compete in Europe, then I don’t want anyone like that here. I want people that I can build around. There’s going to be a change in the summer of some faces, everybody is aware of that, and whoever comes in I want them to be around for the next two or three years and be really core players for the club.”

On the prospect of signing Cantwell, the Englishman added: “He’s a player with a lot of ability and there will be a lot of interest in him. I said last week that he’s a player I like a lot but out of respect I can’t say much more than that. I think you’re not far off the track in what you’re all insinuating.”

Beale confirmed Croatian striker Antonio Colak is rated “touch and go” to feature against the Dons after suffering a “slight problem” in the build up to the match. The 29-year-old was forced off with a calf issue at half-time in the 2-0 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice last weekend.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Should Colak fail to recover in time, the Light Blues manager could turn to Alfredo Morelos to lead the line, while Kemar Roofe is also back in contention to start, with Beale describing the Jamaican as “a really high-quality player”.

Rangers striker Kemar Roofe is “raring to go” after returning from injury (Image: SNS Group)Rangers striker Kemar Roofe is “raring to go” after returning from injury (Image: SNS Group)
Rangers striker Kemar Roofe is “raring to go” after returning from injury (Image: SNS Group)

Providing his latest injury timeline on a number of first-team stars, the ex-QPR boss said: “John Souttar trained all week and is ahead of scheduled. This game will too soon and proabably on the astroturf at Kilmarnock, but I’m expecting him around the squad for the St Johnstone cup game which is good news.

“Ridvan (Yilmaz) we hope to see return in 3/4 weeks before he plays. Tom Lawrence is doing some isolated rehab and we will support him through this. (James) Sands has had a bit of a knock and has missed training this week, he will return tomorrow. He has played out of position a lot this season and would like the opportunity to give him some time in his preferres position.

“If all goes to plan, you will see Ianis Hagi in the St Johnstone home game at the end of the month. Alex Lowry had a slight calf issue after the Motherwell game which is why he hasn’t featured for the last few weeks before his return with the B-team earlier this week.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Robby (McCrorie) has got an ankle ligament issue which has kept him our for two weeks and he’ll be another two or three weeks so he’s unfortunately not been in contention. I’ve got a lot of faith in him, he’s a young goalkeeper who he needs an opportunity. He’s shown that he can play in the top division on loan and do well and he’s broken into the Scotland squad as well.

“I go off what I see in training, that’s where you earn the shirt. Once Robby is fit, between now and the end of the season I want to give him that opportunity to showcase that he can be the number one.”

Asked about potential outgoings, Beale replied: “At this moment in time, it’s not in the plans for anyone around the first-team squad to go out.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.