Rangers first-team pair to become 9th and 10th players to depart club this summer – report
Rangers pair Nikola Katic and Stephen Kelly are free to find new clubs as Giovanni van Bronckhorst firms up his squad this summer. According to the Athletic, the Ibrox pair are surplus to requirements with the players set to leave Govan if a deal can be struck elsewhere. Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Nikola Katic is a popular player at Rangers but his Ibrox career was painfully impacted by a cruciate ligament injury in the summer of 2020. After watching on from the treatment table as the club secured 55 and stopped Celtic’s 10IAR, Katic spent last season on loan with Hajduk Split. Katic helped the Croatian First League club to a 2nd place finish and a domestic cup victory but returned to Rangers this summer with the Balkans outfit failing to take up a £3m offer-to-buy. Still only 25, Nikola Katic was capped by Croatia earlier in his career and will do a good job for whoever he moves to, with the competition at Ibrox simply too fierce. Connor Goldson, Ben Davies, Filip Helander, John Souttar, James Sands and Leon King are all probably ahead of Niko in the pecking order and change is needed for the betterment of his career. Now in the final year of his contract, Nikola Katic would make a fine signing for someone and it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up. Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images Stephen Kelly has never quite been as involved as his Croatian teammate but at 22 the time is nigh for the midfielder to get more settled first-team minutes under his belt. Having enjoyed positive loan spells with Ayr United, Ross County and Salford City, Kelly has a good reputation and is highly thought of around the game. But similarly to Nikola Katic, Stephen Kelly is going to find it very difficult to break into the first-team with plenty of competition in the middle of the park and an exit appears to make sense. Another in the final year of his contract, Stephen Kelly would represent a solid piece of business for a team around Scotland or in the lower leagues of England. Nikola Katic and Stephen Kelly set for Rangers departures The news of these imminent exits follows the departure of fringe defender Jack Simpson to Cardiff with Nikola Katic and Stephen Kelly set to follow the ex-Bournemouth star out of the club, becoming the 9th and 10th players to leave the Gers this summer in the process. Glenn Middleton has left for Dundee United, with Cedric Itten leaving for BSC Young Boys at the beginning of the summer, whilst Jake Hastie is another Ibrox youngster who has moved on, signing for Hartlepool. Defender Leon Balogun and goalkeeper Andy Firth were released after their contracts expired at the beginning of the summer, with the lmatter still without a club and Firth moving to Connah’s Quay Nomads. Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images Nigerian pair Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo are the most high-profile players to have left the club, the duo joining Ajax and Southampton respectively on deal reportedly worth up to a combined £33m. Meanwhile, an ex-Celtic star has been told to “see a therapist” regarding his “obsession” with Rangers. The post Rangers first-team pair to become 9th and 10th players to depart club this summer – report appeared first on Rangers News.