Leeds United and Aston Villa will be keeping a close eye on next week’s Champions League clash between Liverpool and Rangers in order to run the rule over Ryan Kent, according to reports. The 25-year-old, who was previously a member of the academy setup at Anfield, is set to become a free agent at the end of the season as things stand after failing to sign a new contract at Rangers over the last few weeks.
Kent is thought to be stalling over extending his stay at Ibrox in order to keep his options open with regards to a move elsewhere in the not-too-distant future. It seems as though he will have at least two Premier League suitors when next summer rolls around, with Leeds and Villa both weighing up moves for the Rangers winger at the end of the campaign, according to the Sunday Mirror.
It is claimed that both clubs will be ‘keen observers’ when Kent takes to the Anfield pitch on Tuesday night after expressing a desire to sign the forward in recent weeks. Leeds tried to bring him to Elland Road in 2020 and were heavily linked with a move for his services over the summer, but decided not to act on their interest prior to last month’s all-important deadline, while Villa manager Steven Gerrard brought him to Rangers during his time in charge of the Scottish giants.
The former Liverpool man has suffered a loss of form and confidence at Rangers since the beginning of the campaign, with some observers reportedly adamant that his refusal to sign a new deal in Glasgow is playing a role in shaping his muted on-pitch performances. Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson recently insisted that talks regarding Kent’s future are still ongoing but stopped short of making any promises, with the situation yet to be resolved in spite of the club’s wishes.
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“With Alfredo [Morelos] and Ryan, those discussions are happening,” Robertson told The Rangers Review. “The guys have got until the end of May in their existing contracts. We will try to engage with players when we want them to extend, some will want to take time because it’s a big decision for them.”
Meanwhile, ex-Celtic man Andy Walker has already tipped Kent to sign a pre-contract agreement with a Premier League club in January, which suggests that the battle for his signature could be set to intensify over the coming weeks.
“I think there will be interest in Kent,” Walker told Go Radio last month. “A couple of years ago he would have been the type of player who would cost around £15million and I think there were clubs prepared to pay that for him.
“It didn’t happen and Rangers didn’t want to sell him which is absolutely their right and he’s still got the option of extending his contract. I don’t think it makes any sense to run his contract down.
“I think he’ll sign for another club in January, he’ll sign a pre-contract and it’s a big loss. Not just a talented player but in a business sense you’re not getting any money for him.”
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