All Quiet On The Transfer Front

Last updated : 27 January 2009 By Erwin Ganghutter
After weeks of rumour and counter-rumour, not to mention a fictional 'exclusive' or two from the Press Gang, the January transfer window is about to get serious.  As has become the norm at this time of year, the early deals have all been ironed out before Christmas, then the formality of the signing is completed when the window opens, and this is followed by the speculative period which merely unsettles managers, players and fans alike before there is a flurry of hectic activity as deadline day draws near.

A year ago we thought we had escaped with our team intact, only for Alan Hutton to be summoned through to Edinburgh and ordered to complete his move to Tottenham.  I fear we will see a similar scenario this time around with Kris Boyd or another of our more prized assets edged through the exit door, under duress if need be.  But the more obviously we show our hand, clearly desperate to offload one player or another, the buying club will be inclined to haggle over the price, driving down our demands and, having failed the get the necessary cash injection, we will be in the same boat again in the summer.

Clearly Kris Boyd appears to be the man most likely to be shipped out but, in view of Saturday's team selection, rather than focus on a striker with 22 goals to his credit this season, interested parties will point to his absence from the team on a number of significant occasions and amend the cash on offer accordingly.  Or in a spooky repeat of events of August 2003, will Barry Ferguson be the man who has to leave the club because those in charge of our finances have got their sums wrong?  Pedro Mendes and Madjid Bougherra are others reported to be attracting interest but the loss of either would leave a massive hole in the side.

For what its worth, if we have to sell somebody, I'd try to cash in on Allan McGregor.  As he showed towards the end of last season, Neil Alexander is a perfectly capable replacement and, with Greegs having a few personal problems, he might be agreeable to a move.  Prior to being injured at the Piggery, there was talk of Spurs following his progress closely but, as I write this, I understand Harry Redknapp is in talks with Petr Cech's understudy at Chelsea, Carlo Cudicini.  So maybe we should look out for Willie McKay announcing that Bain has asked him to find a buyer for our keeper.

It looks like this will be the first ever transfer window where Rangers do absolutely no business to bring in a new player or two to breathe fresh life into the squad and, if we lose one of our top men, it will all combine to have a detrimental effect on our SPL title challenge.  I'm convinced that wee Strap-on is quite happy to sit back and wait on us making a move before he gets the cheque book out.  If we don't strengthen our side - probably weakening it - he will see no need to spend, being content to buy in the summer when, with us having handed them the league flag on a platter again, our club will be in further disarray.

With Lukasz Zaluska set to move from Tannadice to Breezeblock Boulevard in the summer and some talk of Willo Flood also catching Wee Ginger's eye, I wonder if he might be tempted to make a move before they figure against his lot in Wednesday's CIS semi-final at Hampden.  Or will he leave them at Dundee United in the hope that they will do a bit of damage to our wobbling title challenge at the weekend?  It really is high time the game's authorities looked at the principle of pre-contract agreements, especially when both clubs involved play in the same league.  

Elsewhere, it has been a fairly uneventful window, with the current financial climate no doubt making clubs think twice about shelling out money.  I just hope the credit crunch is so tight that nobody manages to raise the needful to lure any of our men away from Ibrox and, at worst, we get to go with what we've got for the remainder of the season.  I'm ticking off the days to the close of this very worrying period.