Rangers could face an intense battle to retain the services of a promising teenage prospect at the club.
The Daily Record reported that 17-year-old winger Kai Kennedy is on the transfer radar of Manchester City and Bayern Munich, the champions of England and Germany respectively.
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According to the Daily Record, the Ibrox club are in talks with the teenager over an extension to his current contract, which will expire in 2021.
Earlier this year, Roma had shown a strong interest in him, as reported by the Daily Record.
Kennedy has yet to make his senior debut for Rangers, although he was brought with the first team to last month’s win over Hamilton, after which manager Steven Gerrard told Rangers TV [via Rangers News] that he had earned that chance and that the Light Blues “see a bright future for him”.
The youngster impressed for the ‘Gers team that won the Alkass International Cup last February, being named Player of the Tournament (as per The Scottish Sun), while he has also distinguished himself on the European stage this season.
Having assisted a goal in the UEFA Youth League first round tie against Young Boys, he then set up both goals in the home win over Slovan Bratislava in the next round and registered an assist in the second leg in Slovakia as well.
For all the promise Kennedy has shown, though, and despite the aforementioned words of praise from Gerrard, the manager has not been inclined to give young players much game-time in the first team.
Only two players aged 21 or under have played with the senior side this season (Jake Hastie and Josh McPake getting 92 minutes between them) and they have both since been loaned out to Rotherham and Dundee respectively.
Jamie Barjonas and Lewis Mayo are the only other players in that age bracket to even make a first team squad so far in 2019/20 and neither of them got off the bench. [via TransferMarkt]
For Kennedy to be at least in the frame for a first team debut under a manager in Gerrard who has not shown much faith in Rangers’ youth would suggest that the 17-year-old is a brighter prospect than most at Ibrox.
However, with Champions League participants such as Bayern Munich and Manchester City reportedly wanting him, it would be understandable if his head was turned towards such a move, especially as he hasn’t featured for Rangers’ first team.
It will be quite interesting to see if Gerrard follows through on his complimentary comments on the youngster by handing him a senior debut in the coming months. He may well be forced to, if only to avoid losing such a talented young prospect at such an early stage in his career.
Rangers fans, are you hopeful that the club can fend off foreign interest in Kennedy? Would you like to see him being given a chance in the first team this season? Comment below with your views!
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