Rangers on verge of signing versatile US international James Sands from New York City

The 21-year-old can play at centre-back or as a defensive midfielder

Giovanni van Bronckhorst is closing in on his first signing as Rangers manager with USA international James Sands expected to arrive at Ibrox in the next 48 hours.

GlasgowWorld understands the versatile New York City defender/midfielder will sign an initial 18-month loan, with the Light Blues retaining an option to buy as part of the deal.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

James Sands is nearing a move to Rangers. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Rangers have moved quickly to replace academy graduate Nathan Patterson, who left to join English Premier League side Everton on a five-and-a-half-year deal yesterday.

Sands, who can play at centre-back or as a defensive midfielder became the first player to emerge from the New York academy into the first-team at the MLS outfit.

He has made 65 appearances and claimed the club’s ‘young player of the year’ as a key member of former Celtic boss Ronny Deila’s side that won the MLS Cup for the first time in their history last month.

Negotiations are thought to be progressing well and it is understood Sands is preparing to fly to Scotland to finalise talks and complete a medical.

The youngster, who made his MLS debut in 2017 and has been capped seven times by the USA national team, was part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup-winning team last summer, playing in all six matches.

Meanwhile, Rangers playmaker Ianis Hagi is set to offered a contract extension, according to his dad and Barcelona legend Gheorghe.

Ianis Hagi has been a regular started under Giovanni van Bronckhorst. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Romanian international has been linked with various clubs in Europe, including Roma, and some media outlets reported in September Hagi was ‘close to agreeing’ a £17million move to the Serie A giants this month.

However, the 23-year-old, who has been one of the club’s most reliable players in recent seasons, could be on the brink of extending his stay in Govan.

Speaking to the media in his homeland, Gheorge said: “Ianis had an extraordinary year, very good, he is appreciated there and, from good sources, I think they want to renew the contract.”