Patience has proved to be a virtue for Rangers. Back in July, Sky Sports claimed that the Ibrox giants were keen to sign Jamie Murphy from Brighton but had been quoted £4 million from last season’s Championship runners-up.
Six months later, however, The Mail states that Rangers are closing in on a deal to bring Murphy to Glasgow, for a bargain fee of just £1 million that may even have bitter rivals Celtic a little green with envy. After all, Sky Sports claimed that they, too, were interested in Murphy back in the summer.
The 28-year-old winger played an important role as the Seagulls were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in May, but he has been restricted to just four top flight appearances since, just one of those coming as a starter.
And Rangers appear to have offered the uncapped Scot, a boyhood Gers fan, a hugely tempting escape route. This, then, classes as quite the coup for director of football Mark Allen, who had been criticised in some quarters recently with many of Rangers’ summer signings flattering to deceive.
£1 million is hardly nothing to Rangers but, in the scheme of things, such a fee represents a rare bargain in an era where price tags are inflated like never before. In fact, even Celtic might struggle to pull off a better deal this month.
Murphy may have fallen down the pecking order at Brighton in recent months but he is a player of real quality who, just two seasons ago, scored six goals and set up another four for Chris Hughton’s side in the Championship.
He would also fill the void on the left wing, and more than compensates for Rangers’ failure to bring one-time academy prospect Lewis Morgan back to Ibrox.
Old Firm neighbours Celtic are set to win the race for the St Mirren star (Scottish Sun) and, while the 21-year-old is an undoubted star of the future, Murphy is a player who can immediately improve Rangers’ squad.
For once, it appears the team from the blue half of Glasgow has outdone their bitter rivals.