Tom Lawrence profiled as Rangers in pole position to sign former Derby County captain

The 28-year-old forward is a free agent after leaving the Rams following their relegation to League One last season.

Rangers are in pole position to sign former Derby County skipper Tom Lawrence, according to reports.

Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst landed top target Antonio Colak as part of a £1.8million deal from PAOK yesterday after the Greek club finally agreed to allow the striker to leave.

The Herald claim the Dutchman is keen to replace Southampton-bound Joe Aribo and versatile midfielder Lawrence features highly on the club’s transfer radar.

Tom Lawrence is a free agent after his Derby County contract ran out and Sheffield United wanted to bring the player to Bramall Lane (Cameron Smith/Getty Images).

The 28-year-old, who can be deployed on the left or right wing, is a free agent after leaving the Rams following their relegation to League One last season.

The Welsh international scored 11 goals and provided five assists for the Rams last season and has been attracting plenty of interest from clubs in England.

Sheffield United were one of the front-runners to secure his services after he held positive talks with manager Paul Heckinbottom.

However, GlasgowWorld understands Van Bronckhorst has moved quickly to submit a lucrative offer to the player as he looks to bolster his attacking options for the second time this summer.

It is thought the chance to play European football could tempt Lawrence to move north of the border.

Which clubs has Tom Lawrence played for?

Born in Wrexham, Lawrence joined Manchester United’s youth academy from Everton at the age of eight.

He progressed through the age groups, while being loaned out to Carlisle United and Yeovil Town before being recalled in April 201 due to injury issues.

After spending 22 years at Old Trafford and making just one first-team appearance, Lawrence completed a permanent move to Leicester City.

He had successful loan spells at Rotherham United, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Ipswich Town before earning a switch to Derby in the summer of 2017.

He has made 263 English Championship appearances to date and reportedly earned in excess of £30,000 last season, indicating he will not be signed as a back-up player.

Capped 23 times for Wales after making his international debut against Andorra in 2015, Lawrence has scored three times for his country.

Where would he fit into the current Rangers side?

It is believed Rangers will net an initial £6million fee for Aribo’s impending departure to the Premier League, which aid the Ibrox’s side transfer pot significantly.

Primarily an attacking midfielder, Lawrence is capable of playing in a variety of different roles like Aribo and can be used as a central striker if required.

Lawrence offers a creative outlet and his best position during his five-year-spell at Derby was in a slightly deeper lying number 10 role.

With Ryan Kent expected to keep his spot on the left flank, Lawrence could be a strong contender to feature on the right-hand side in Van Bronckhorst’s favoured attacking front three formation.

Last season, the Gers boss tried various different options to fill the position with Scott Wright, Aaron Ramsey and Amad Diallo all failing to nail down a regular place in the starting XI.

What has been said about his future?

Former Derby County manager and Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney appointed Lawrence as captain in July 2021 and had nothing but praise for the club stalwart.

Judging by the Rooney’s past comments, Rangers could be getting a natural ‘leader’ with an exceptional ‘work rate’.

Speaking last year he said: “Tom has been excellent and he really has led by example on the pitch.

“I know some people may have looked at the decision I made in the summer, when I made him captain, and thought it was a bit controversial - but I knew it was in Tom.

“I have known him for a long time, since he was a young lad at Manchester United, and I know how to get the best out of him.

“I think we are seeing his quality from an attacking point of view, but what sometimes goes unnoticed is the work rate and effort he is putting in during every game.”