5 Rangers players who could be shown the door by Pedro Caixinha
In response, he’s going to have to let some players know, in no uncertain terms, they have no future at Ibrox and would be better off ripping up their contracts and going elsewhere.
Philippe Senderos is one of two players on an expiring deal, so he’ll definitely go. But who is going to join him? We look at the most likely candidates.
He’s the only attacking player in the squad with what you would describe as blazing speed, so it may be worth keeping him around as a sort of specialist squad player.
However, the playing time he received across the two Celtic matches recently (zero minutes) it seems Caixinha is going to follow in the path of Mark Warburton and ignore the ex-St Johnstone star in games where his pace on the counter-attack could become an big asset. Then there’s his no-show for a Development League game, which would not have endeared himself to the new boss.
With St Johnstone losing Danny Swanson to Hibs, don’t be too surprised to see him return to Perth this summer, though Rangers may try to recruit some of the £500,000 they spent on him last January.
The other first-team player out of contract this summer, Hill has said he’s open to signing a new deal, but here we are, in May, and an offer is yet to arrive. While he may have been in the running for the club’s Player of the Year, he is a 38-year-old centre-back, and therefore it is understandably that Caixinha see him as part of his plans for the future.
Had Mark Warburton stayed, Hill would likely have been offered a new deal. Back then, the defence seemed to fall apart without him. The three clean sheets in his absence, not to mention the 5-1 defeat to Celtic upon his return, indicated he might not longer be needed to hold the defensive unit together.
He was also left out of the starting XI for the recent victory over Partick Thistle.
The striker’s contract situation has wrangled on all year and, given his performances throughout the season, it’s doubtful whether the club would wish to sign him to an improved deal anyway. If they decide against it, it’ll only alienate Waghorn further, so a return to England this summer looks almost probable.
Joe Garner is another who may be shown the exit door. But while Waghorn’s contract, signed at the beginning at the Championship season, may make it easier to attract suitors to take him off Rangers’ hands, the opposite is true of Garner.
Furthermore, Caixinha has talked about wanting players with more fight. Though he’s not shown much else, Garner has at least demonstrated that he’s up for the battle.
If Caixinha wants to rebuild the Rangers squad, he’s going to need funds in which to do so. Unfortunately for him, the club aren’t in a position to lavish him with cash, so he may have to sacrifice an asset or two to support his restructure.
McKay is undoubtedly the club’s most valued asset, even if Caixinha hasn’t used him like one in recent weeks. After starting in the Portuguese manager’s first three matches, McKay has started only once in the last five, and even then he was hooked at half-time.
When asked about McKay last week, the head coach talked at length about wanting players who were fully committed to the club. McKay, of course, recently rejected a new contract. This could be a case of putting two and two together and getting five, but the signs are there that McKay could be on his way out this summer.
The midfielder has been in pretty poor form since November and it shows little sign of changing under Caixinha. He’s made only two starts since the new manager’s introduction. He failed to impress in either of those games, including nearly getting sent off in the opening minutes of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic.
He may stick around because of his love for club. Unlike other players in the squad, Halliday may be more than determined to stay and fight for his place, even if he’s told his services are no longer required. For now, though, he remains firmly behind Jason Holt and even Josh Windass in the midfield pecking order, and the situation is only likely to get worse with new signings arriving this summer.
Other potential departures
There have been few sightings of Harry Forrester, Rob Kiernan and Lee Hodson recently, though injury has played a part in that. The latter may see his role as reserve full-back under threat by the emergence of Myles Beerman on the left of defence. There’s also Matt Crooks and Jordan Rossiter, both of whom have spent the majority of the season injured. Caixinha may want to wait and have a closer look at them when fit, or he may wish to cut the club’s losses on a couple of injury-prone midfielders.