Rangers still have 12 out-of-contract players coming towards the end of the season, presenting them with a chance to cull the under performers.
Rangers have 12 players who are playing for a future at Ibrox as they continue to chase Hibernian going into the closing stages of the season.
A strong finish to the season and perhaps promotion could help these players stake a claim for a contract renewal, but because the man who is leading them is on a short-term contract until the end of the season, it is difficult to determine who will make the final call.
The 12 players in questions are Lee McCulloch, Kris Boyd, Kenny Miller, Jon Daly, Bilel Mohsni, Darren McGregor, Richard Foster, Steven Smith, Sebastien Faure, Ian Black, Kyle Hutton and Steve Simonsen.
The two most important factors in the decision will be what league Rangers are in and what replacements they are able to line up should they decide to let any of the 12 go, with most of the players featuring in the first-team this season.
The most simple decision lies with the ‘keepers because Lee Robinson performed well when he was given a chance due to Simonsen’s one-match ban for betting on football matches.
Cammy Bell will always be the number one, with his immediate return after injury proving that, so Simonsen could be considered the third choice ‘keeper and surplus to requirements.
Rangers have struggled at the back this season and this could lead to some of the six out-of-contract defenders leaving at the beginning of June. McGregor has shown enough to earn an extension to his current one-year deal whilst Faure has filled in well across the back line when called upon and his versatility could be the clincher in a new deal.
If the change in formation to 3-5-2 is going to stick then Rangers will need at least three fit centre-backs for every game next season, and that could be the only reason McCulloch gets an extension. Whilst his work-rate can’t be questioned, his age can, and there will be doubts over whether he could withstand another season at Rangers in general without considering what league they are in.
Mohsni has lacked quality during his time at Ibrox and is a consistent offender when it comes to picking up his man from crosses. Rangers need a more reliable and consistent performer than Mohsni and it would be a surprise to see him offered a new deal.
If Rangers can find the funds then they may opt to find a replacement for Foster whilst Smith could be a useful back up for Lee Wallace. The benchmark for the pair would be Wallace and both are quite some distance from that quality but may be kept on for financial reasons.
30-year-old Black has had his issues at Ibrox this season and went well over a month between the start of February and end of March without playing for the Light Blues, with his performances lacking quality when he has played this season.
With the emergence of Andy Murdoch, Black has hardly featured under Stuart McCall and it is clear that Rangers are more than capable without him, and a new contract looks extremely unlikely unless a new manager comes in for next season.
Hutton has performed well and at only 24 years old he still has plenty to offer at Rangers, making him a strong candidate for a new contract.
This has been one of Rangers’ main problem areas this season with none of the front men covering themselves in glory. Miller has been below par this campaign and his advancing years may have caught up with him, taking the energy and pace out of his game that have made him such a threat throughout his career.
Daly could follow Miller out of the Ibrox exit door having featured sporadically this season under three different managers, showing his standing in the striking pecking order is low and making him the most likely striking option to leave.
Boyd is a proven goal scorer in Scottish football but he has struggled to find a rhythm this season. It is highly unlikely Rangers will let all three of the strikers leave and Boyd could survive on his previous reputation alone.
Offer new contracts
Boyd, Hutton, McGregor, Smith, Faure
Simonsen, Miller, Daly, Mohsni, McCulloch, Black, Foster