Rangers face the possibility of losing Scott Arfield back to the Premier League this summer with Southampton making the Canadian international a firm transfer target in what would be a serious blow at Ibrox.
The Daily Mail claim on their website that the south coast outfit are keen on taking the former Burnley man back to England just a year after making the move north of the border, with Rangers said to have valued their star man at £3million.
However, losing the 30-year-old would be a huge loss for Steven Gerrard and his side and they could wave their title hopes next season away if he does depart.
Why is Arfield so important?
To put it into two words, quality and experience. The reasons that Rangers snapped up Arfield are the same ones that saw them secure the loan signing of Jermain Defoe in the winter transfer window.
There is little doubting that Arfield is the most talented midfield option available to Gerrard right now and the games he has missed have been proof of just how important he is to the side, the Gers often lacking that guile and creative edge needed to make the difference.
Having played 86 times in the Premier League it was a coup that the Light Blues managed to get him to Glasgow in the first place and he has proved his worth at Ibrox with 11 goals and seven assists across all competitions.
Rangers would have been hoping his capture would push the club closer to the Premiership title they desperately seek and they were right – it has been those around him who have let the club down.
Why would losing him be such a blow?
Simply put, bargain deals like Arfield – the midfielder joining the Gers on a free transfer from Burnley – do not come around every summer and a price of £3million is not going to give Gerrard the money needed to replace him.
He brings so much more than just talent on the football pitch. He has international and Premier League experience and is a popular figure in the Ibrox dressing room, using his knowledge of the game to better those around him.
He is one of the few players that Celtic would be happy to have playing for them and that is what Rangers need if they are to topple the Hoops – selling him on would be taking a step backwards rather than pushing for glory.