Aston Villa are among a number of Premier League clubs who have made enquiries about Rangers’ highly-rated defender Calvin Bassey.
The Midlands club have already made a stunning start to the transfer window after signing three new players worth £43m – Diego Carlos the latest, with the defender set to undergo a medical and finalise terms ahead of a £26m move from Seville.
Bassey is also being tracked by clubs in the Bundesliga and it is understood it would take a bid in excess of £25m – the current record received by a Scottish club when Kieran Tierney left Celtic for Arsenal – to bring Rangers to the negotiating table over a potential sale.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard is a big admirer of the Nigerian international, having lured him to Glasgow him from Leicester City for around £230,000 two years ago, and Villa are trying to pursue a deal quickly to stave off competition from elsewhere.
Sky Sports News has been told Bassey is settled at Ibrox but would be open to talking to Villa about a possible move to the Midlands.
However, it is understood Rangers do not want to sell the 22-year-old, who made 50 appearances across all competitions and was named in the Europa League team of the season following the club’s run to the final.
Bassey, who can play left-back or centre-back, also produced several man-of-the-match performances as Rangers won the Scottish Cup.
Rangers have made it clear to every club that has enquired about Bassey that they will not allow him to leave on the cheap and are under no pressure to sell the highly-rated youngster.
The Ibrox side’s previous club record fee earned was £16m for academy graduate Nathan Patterson who joined Everton in January.
Burke expects ‘Bassey bidding war’
Former Rangers winger Chris Burke told Sky Sports News:
“I think he’s been a standout, especially during the last six months. He can play numerous positions as you can see in a back three or back four.
“He’s a sheer powerhouse and as time goes on he’s just getting better and better.
“Great recruitment from the club and if they do sell him it’ll be a lot of money.
“We talk about Kieran Tierney being in excess of £25m and you can’t see that he would be any less than that.
“I hope for Rangers’ sake that he does stay, he’s still learning. He seems like he’s a great kid and he was fantastic in the European match.
“We hope we can see Calvin Bassey in a Rangers shirt next season but I won’t be surprised if it’s a bidding war for him.”