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Rangers handed major boost in pursuit of Premier League defender?

Rangers handed major boost in pursuit of Premier League defender?
© Reuters
Rangers are reportedly handed a major boost in their pursuit of a Premier League defender ahead of the summer transfer window.

Rangers have reportedly been handed a major boost in their pursuit of West Ham United defender Ben Johnson ahead of the summer transfer window.

Johnson joined the Hammers' academy at the age of seven and worked his way through the youth ranks before making his senior debut for the club in December 2017.

Now 24, Johnson has made a total of 109 first-team appearances for West Ham across all competitions, including 29 outings last season when the Hammers won the Europa Conference League.

The England Under-21 international has since featured 22 times under David Moyes so far this term, although only seven of those appearances have been starts, including just four in the Premier League.

As well as a lack of regular first-team football, the fact that Johnson's contract at the London Stadium is due to expire this summer has led to speculation about his future.

Brighton & Hove Albion's James Milner and Brighton & Hove Albion's Billy Gilmour in action with West Ham United's Ben Johnson on January 2, 2024© Reuters

Rangers to reignite interest in Johnson?

According to Football Insider, Johnson has decided to leave West Ham when his contract expires in June and wants to 'take advantage' of his free-agent status in the summer transfer window.

The report adds that West Ham have been open to offering Johnson a new deal, but the versatile defender has rejected several offers to stay with the Hammers.

It is claimed that Scottish giants Rangers could reignite their pursuit in the versatile defender having previously expressed their interest in January.

Philippe Clement's side are believed to be one of a number of clubs who admire Johnson's ability to play as either a right-back, left-back, centre-back or as a winger on either flank.

West Ham United's Ben Johnson pictured on February 27, 2022© Reuters

Rangers face competition from English clubs in Johnson race

Rangers could face stern competition to win the race for Johnson's signature, as clubs in the Premier League and Championship are said to be keeping tabs on his situation at West Ham.

Previous reports have suggested that Tottenham Hotspur are considering a move for Johnson following a recommendation from club legend and ambassador Ledley King, who is incidentally the cousin of West Ham's No.2.

The likes of Everton, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Leeds United and Southampton have also been credited with an interest in Johnson since the turn of the year.

Johnson's preferred destination remains unknown at present, but assurances of regular first-team football will be a huge factor in his decision should his exit from West Ham be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916

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