What would it take for Portsmouth to prise Ross McCrorie from Rangers - and how much would it cost?
The transfer targets are being scouted, with Pompey doing their usual thorough due diligence on potential summer recruits.
Squad planning for next season is well and truly under way as the Blues ensure their rivals don’t steal a march during the current suspension of the campaign.
And one name that’s almost certain to be discussed by manager Kenny Jackett and his backroom team is Ross McCrorie.
On a season-long loan from Rangers, the possibility of turning his switch permanent will likely be considered.
The Pompey boss is a big admirer of McCrorie’s athleticism and dynamism, having converted him from a holding midfielder to a right-back since his arrival.
But when the transfer window reopens, it’s a potential move that McCrorie may decide to mull over.
However, there are several hurdles the Blues would have to overcome to get a deal over the line.
How much would McCrorie cost?
With two years left on his contract, Rangers would demand a substantial fee.
There are training and development costs that come into consideration, along with McCrorie’s potential.
The valuations on, say, transfermarkt.com should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
But the figure they believe McCrorie’s worth is £810,000.
That’s not too far off the price suggested by Wyscout – a stats-based platform frequently used by Pompey – who value the former Dumbarton man at £872,000.
Meanwhile, Football Manager 2020 – the game plenty of us continue to indulge in during lockdown – also gives valuations of players.
Like transfermarkt.com, there’s no clear method of how they come up with their figures, but McCrorie is priced at £350,000 on the computer game.
Perhaps we're better using recent examples of players who’ve completed similar moves south of the border.
Last summer, Jamie Lindsay departed Ross County for Rotherham for a reported fee of around £250,000.
But being two years Lindsay's junior, along with being Scotland under-21 skipper, McCrorie holds more gravitas and would likely cost more.
Would Rangers be willing to sell?
The million-dollar question is whether the Scottish giants would allow McCrorie to depart.
When he moved to Fratton Park in the summer, there was uproar from swathes of Gers fans.
Given that manager Steven Gerrard said he had 'big plans' for the Dailly-born ace and scotched rumours Pompey had an option to buy, it suggested McCrorie’s future firmly remained at Ibrox.
But what will be a major factor is how Gerrard has rated McCrorie’s progress – and if it’s enough for him to be regarded as a regular Rangers starter in the near future.
Having mainly featured as a central midfielder for Rangers, it’s a position they’re well stocked, with Scott Arfield, Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara, Andy Halliday and Steven Davis all options.
And after being converted to a right-back by Blues boss Kenny Jackett, it’s not an area Rangers are short of numbers, with skipper James Tavernier the undisputed first choice.
What will the financial landscape look like?
The precarious financial situation amid the coronavirus crisis will undoubtedly have ramifications on the next transfer window.
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin has already admitted he expects player wages to drop - and the same implications will likely happen with transfer fees.
It’ll make every penny be questioned more so than usual and whether stumping up a substantial fee in the climate would have to be considered a uber-sensible deal.
Will McCrorie want to depart Rangers?
Let’s say a transfer fee has been thrashed out and the respective add-ons are all agreed between the two clubs.
Then it would come down on whether McCrorie wants to extend his time at Pompey.
He's enjoyed being a prominent member of Kenny Jackett's set-up, having still made 22 appearances despite a recurring hamstring injury.
Yet McCrorie could well feel he's not ready to depart his boyhood club and that he’s still good enough to establish himself as someone who features week in, week out at Ibrox.
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