Scottish Premiership winners Rangers have emerged as favourites to land Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga, TEAMtalk understands.
The 28-year-old is leaving The Riverside after four years following a £15million move from Nottingham Forest. Boro had hoped that the DR Congo star would fire them to the Premier League but it never really worked out for the former Peterborough man – who only showed glimpses of his clear goalscoring abilities – claiming less than 50 league goals during his time with the club.
Boro tried to move him on in January and looked at a possible exchange with Bristol City’s Famara Diedhiou. However, Assombalonga’s huge wages meant that was a non-starter.
Now Assombalonga is looking at options having been told he will not be involved with Boro again.
There has been no Premier League interest, but a number of Championship clubs have made it know they would be keen. There are clubs in Belgium and Germany who have expressed an interest.
But we can reveal that he is close to agreeing terms with Rangers. The Ibrox outfit believe they can reignite the career of the 28-year-old – who will accept a major drop in wages from what he was earning at Boro to link-up with Steven Gerrard’s men.
The interest in Assombalonga would mean that Rangers anticipate departures with Jermain Defoe’s future unclear. Now 38, it remains to be seen if the former England striker will be offered an extension.
Alfredo Morelos is another who is attracting interest from abroad. To that end, Rangers may be forced to look at any substantial offers for the impressive Colombian.
Leeds urged to sign Rangers ace
Meanwhile, pundit Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa to move for Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara in the upcoming transfer window.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Whites striker revealed that boss Bielsa will be a ‘big fan’ of the Finnish ace as the Argentine looks set to bolster his midfield in the summer. The Daily Mail revealed earlier this month that Rangers are ‘fighting’ to hold onto Kamara despite interest from Leeds.
Despite this, however, there has been no agreement in place between the 25-year-old and the club to extend his current contract which is set to expire in 2023.
As such, a number of clubs are said to be monitoring the situation.
However, Whelan feels that Leeds should be moving for Kamara.
He said: “He brings quality, Steven Gerrard recognises how important he is to Rangers.
“That’s why he wants to tie him down on a new contract. Good players will always be looked at and that’s the problem.
“What he’ll bring is energy, aggression, quality passing. Marcelo Bielsa likes players with energy, players who can get around the field.
“He would bring those fitness levels and also quality and competition to that midfield position.”