Should Rangers consider West Ham's James Collins?

West Ham United's Welsh defender James Collins (C) confronts a pitch invader during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Burnley at The London Stadium, in...

James Collins is out of contract at West Ham and would be perfect at Ibrox for Rangers.

Jeff Hendrick of Burnley is challenged by James Collins of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Burnley at London Stadium on March 10, 2018 in London,...

The loss of David Bates has highlighted Rangers' need for a new centre-back in the summer. But after an expensive outlay prior to the 2017-18 season, spending money on transfer fees is something the Gers cannot afford to do.

Without former Raith Rovers defender Bates, who has joined German Bundesliga outfit Hamburg, the Gers have just Bruno Alves, Fabio Cardoso and Russell Martin left as options at centre-back.

Ross McCrorie is preferred in midfield, and that leaves the Gers thin at the back with Martin only on loan at Ibrox. The Norwich City defender's performance against Celtic will surely see Rangers avoid a permanent deal.

Bruno Alves of Rangers attempts an overhead kick during the Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between Rangers and Falkirk at Ibrox Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Alves' future remains in doubt as he struggles to make his way into the first team despite a hefty pay cheque. So a new centre-back with leadership and experience is required, if the Gers do indeed lose Martin and Alves.

It should see whoever is in the helm at Ibrox beyond the end of the season look to snap up West Ham United's veteran centre-back James Collins, who is likely to leave the London Stadium this summer.

The former Wales international, 34, is yet to be offered an extension on his current contract which runs out at the end of the season, despite impressing at the back for the Hammers this season and arguably becoming first choice.

Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth is fouled by James Collins of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and AFC Bournemouth at London Stadium on January 20,...

Available on a free, then, Collins would be the perfect fit for a Rangers side crying out for leaders and experience as they fail to match Old Firm rivals for the second successive season.

Although Collins has lost a degree of pace, his defensive expertise will help organise the Gers defence, which has been particularly leaky this season. They have conceded 38 league goals, the second highest of the top six.

Adding Collins to the back four would give the Gers the stability and platform to build, as they look to stop Celtic from completing 10 in a row.

 

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