Rangers: Van Bronckhorst could lure £7.2m 'diamond' to Ibrox

Qualifying for the Champions League could bolster Rangers‘ chances of signing West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone this summer, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Scottish champions have been linked with a move for the £7.2m-rated shotstopper, although the Ibrox club face serious competition for his signature.

What’s the latest news involving Johnstone?

According to the Daily Mail, Rangers are eyeing up a move for Johnstone, described as a “diamond” by Steve Bruce, as a replacement for Allan McGregor, who’s out of contract and will leave at the end of the season.

However, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men are not alone in their interest, with a host of Premier League teams also in the race for his services.

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The same report believes that Tottenham, Newcastle, West Ham, and Southampton are all in the running, while Sky Sports reckon that a return to Manchester United could be on the cards for Johnstone, who’s available on a free transfer, with his deal at West Brom expiring at the end of June.

But O’Rourke reckons that while Rangers are up against it in the hunt for Johnstone, Champions League football could improve their chances of convincing the 29-year-old, who’s played 167 games for the Baggies, to move north of the border and swap England for the Scottish Premiership.

What did O’Rourke say about Johnstone?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “If Rangers were to qualify for the Champions League, that’s something Sam Johnstone might take into consideration, but I do think that he will end up moving to a Premier League club when he leaves West Brom this summer.”

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Are Rangers likely to qualify for the Champions League?

For Rangers to be playing in Europe’s elite competition next season, they either have to navigate their way through three two-legged qualifiers, which has proved a difficult task for Scottish teams in recent years or win the Europa League.

Both of those are going to be difficult, but Van Bronckhorst’s men at least have two bites at the cherry.

Rangers could also beat Celtic in this weekend’s Old Firm derby and go on to win the title, which would be enough for an automatic place in the group stages of the competition, although that looks an extremely unlikely outcome at this stage of proceedings, with the Hoops six points clear.

In terms of the Europa League, Rangers are also outsiders to claim their first ever European title, but they’re only three matches away from glory, and should fancy their chances after already knocking out Borussia Dortmund and Braga.

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