Last Friday, Liverpool announced their decision to release Jon Flanagan upon the expiry of his contract. The 25-year-old right-back was never a regular starter for the Reds, except during the 2013/14 season but he is still a very decent player. Nevertheless, after spending most of the previous two campaigns away on loan, Flanagan has left Anfield permanently.
Scottish giants Rangers and Celtic are both interested in signing Flanagan on a free transfer in the summer. But Ibrox seems like a better destination for the player than Parkhead, and here’s why.
First and foremost, new Rangers manager Steven Gerrard played alongside the defender at Liverpool. As a result, he is aware of Flanagan’s strengths and weaknesses very well. This could be useful for the player, who’ll be looking for regular first-team action next season.
It’s important to note that Rangers will probably need reinforcements in the right-back position this summer. They currently have James Tavernier and Lee Hodson as right-backs. Both are skilled and experienced footballers, but there’s strong interest in Tavernier from Premier League outfit Crystal Palace. Gerrard has already made it clear that Tavernier is not for sale, but should an offer in the region of £4m come in, the Light Blues might be tempted to let him go.
It should also be kept in mind that Flanagan is a versatile player, who can also play as a left-back. It’s no secret that there’s tension between captain Lee Wallace and Rangers, following the Hampden Park dressing room row after their Scottish Cup semi-final defeat against Celtic. Wallace is likely to find out if he has any future at Ibrox this week.
As mentioned earlier, Celtic are also an option for Flanagan. And a move to Paradise would make sense because the defender has previously worked under Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers during his managerial spell at Liverpool.
However Celtic already have Cristian Gamboa, Mikael Lustig and Anthony Ralston as their right-backs. Unless at least one of them is sold, it will be really difficult for the former Liverpool man to become a first team regular for the Scottish champions.
With that in mind, Rangers seem like the ideal destination for Flanagan. Will he and Gerrard be reunited at Ibrox? Only time will tell.