Agent reacts to claims Rangers want to sign Russia ace he’s free in 2023
Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Andrey Lunev’s agent has played down ‘rumours’ surrounding his client’s future while steering the Russian international away from his Rangers ties, speaking on Telegram.
With neither Allan McGregor nor Jon McLaughlin covering themselves in glory at times this season, Rangers will be under pressure to bolster their options between the sticks at some point in 2023. Both shooters have made high-profile errors. And it’s fair to say that they aren’t getting any younger either.
But the reports linking Lunev, 30, with a move to Ibrox are, according to Anton Smirnev, just that; rumors.
“We haven’t negotiated with any of the clubs (supposedly interested). And we don’t have the right to do so until at least January 1stsays Lunev’s agent, via Rus Football.
“Information about Rangers, I cannot confirm. These are rumours. There is interest in Andrei. But until there is a substantial conversation with Bayer, all communication from our side is blocked. ”
Rangers need a new keeper
Despite Lukas Hradecky’s error-strewn displays between the sticks in a disastrous start to the season for Leverkusen, Lunev has spent most of this season stuck on the sidelines.
The seven-time Russian international has been left on the bench for each of the club’s opening three Bundesliga games under former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich playmaker Xabi Alonso.
“We respect the club, the management and the fans,” adds Smirnov. “Everyone treats Andrey very well.
“Agents from Europe have contacted us and continue to contact us with job offers at different clubs. I will only mention the countries from which the agents themselves come: Germany, England, Spain and Turkey.
“But there’s only one answer so far – we won’t discuss anything before talking with Bayer. The situation has to be changed, but we’ll see in the future.
Lunev will be a free agent when his Bayer Leverkusen contract expires in July 2023. By then, longtime Rangers stopper McGregor will be 41. McLaughlin, dropped by Giovanni van Bronckhorst after the humiliating 4-0 Old Firm derby defeat to Celtic in September, is a real boost in comparison at 35.
Rangers reportedly eyed Jack Butland, Martin Fraisl and Berke Ozer over the summer. That was before they gave McGregor a new one-year contract.
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