Forget Jamie Walker, Partick's Abdul Osman should be Rangers' January priority

Rangers manager Graeme Murty is seen during the Scottish Cup Quarter final match between Rangers and Hamilton Academical at Ibrox Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Like Hearts' Jamie Walker, Abdul Osman is out of contract next summer and would be an excellent addition to Rangers' squad.

Jamie Walker of Heart of Midlothian controls the ball during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Hearts and Celtic at Tynecastle Stadium on April 2, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

As long as Jamie Walker does not put pen to paper on a new deal with Hearts, speculation will always be bubbling away in the background surrounding a potential move to Rangers.

The Scottish Sun reported that the Ibrox giants are hoping to sign the 24-year-old winger on a pre-contract agreement in January as his deal expires at the end of this season. Rangers made two bids for Walker in the summer but, after refusing to meet Hearts’ £1 million price tag, the prospect of landing one of Scotland’s most exciting talents on a free is understandably tempting.

Though it seems Walker is rather less enthused by the prospect of Rangers renewing their interest. He admitted to the Daily Record recently that he had doubts about how much he was wanted at Ibrox.

Jamie Walker of Hearts scores his goal from the penalty spot  during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Celtic on August 7, 2016 in Glasgow, Edinburgh.

After all, Rangers spent almost £10 million this summer – yet could not spare an extra £500,000 to bring in Walker too. And with the winger struggling to recapture his career-best form of 2016/17, perhaps the chance has passed.

Experienced, reliable and affordable

Instead, there is another Scottish Premiership star with an expiring contract who could prove far more useful to whoever takes over from Pedro Caixinha on the blue half of Glasgow.

Partick Thistle enforcer Abdul Osman is one of the most underrated players in Scotland’s top flight but has been a quietly efficient performer at Firhill since arriving from Crewe Alexandra back in 2014.

Partick Thistle's Abdul Osman at Stark's Park on July 5, 2016 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.

And the 30-year-old is exactly the kind of understated player Rangers could do with. Osman has made a career of winning back possession and marshalling his defence.

With Rangers’ backline looking continuously shaky, the experienced and reliable Osman could protect a soft underbelly with a sheet of steel while giving midfield partners Graham Dorrans, Jamie Holt and co the freedom to push forward.

After spending huge sums on a series of underwhelming summer additions, an intelligent bargain would be well received by Rangers fans.

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