For Hamilton Academical, the prospect of losing Ali Crawford at the end of the season doesn’t bare thinking about.
The talismanic midfielder is central to the club’s hopes of surviving in the Scottish top flight and has maintained his excellent form from last season into the opening weeks of the new campaign.
Crawford netted 10 goals from midfield in 2016/17 and already has three in eight to his name in all competitions this time around. Therefore, with his contract expiring next summer, Hamilton will surely be bracing themselves for offers for a player who has spent his entire professional career at New Douglas Park.
HITC Sport told us in January that Rangers had made contact with Hamilton concerning the 26-year-old, with the club’s limited budget convincing them to turn their attention towards a player who could end up being sold for a fraction of his market value in January due to fears he will leave on a free next summer.
Rangers may have reinforced their central midfield options with the signings of Graham Dorrans, Ryan Jack and Carlos Pena this summer but Crawford adds a real goalscoring threat that Pedro Caixinha’s side have too often lacked in the centre of the park.
Though Dorrans should chip in with a decent tally, Crawford’s ability to hit double figures would make him an invaluable addition for a side who have often relied far too heavily on their strikers without providing enough of a goal threat from elsewhere.
Furthermore, Caixinha has spoken of a desire to add more domestic experience to his squad - and only two of Rangers' summer signings had ever played in Scotland before. Crawford, then, would add some much needed know-how in an increasingly cosmopolitan side.