Newcastle have revived their interest in Rangers captain James Tavernier and sent scouts to watch the right-back in Sunday’s Old Firm clash with Celtic.
A 2-1 victory for the Gers put them within two points of Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic – with a game in hand – as they seek to break their rival’s run of eight consecutive league titles.
Tavernier’s form has been key in Rangers’ domestic and European success so far, and has also caught the eye of Steve Bruce.
The Scottish Sun reported that the injury-hit Magpies are taking another look at Tavernier, after being heavily linked with a summer transfer. Rangers would be reluctant to sell their captain – who is under contract until 2022 – but a significant offer from Newcastle is likely to be hard to resist.
However, from a personal perspective, Tavernier could be tempted to stay by the prospect of lifting the league title and continuing Rangers’ Europa League adventure. A mouthwatering round of 32 tie with Braga awaits in the final weeks of February – a reward for progressing from a tricky group that contained Porto, Feyenoord and Young Boys.
Tavernier represented Newcastle at youth level and went on to make a handful of first-team appearances, before eventually departing for Wigan in 2014. Just a year later he moved north of the border was given the honour of the captaincy upon Steven Gerrard’s 2018 arrival.
Newcastle, meanwhile, are feeling the strain of a busy Christmas period and saw two right wing-backs pick up injuries in the New Year’s Day clash with Leicester. While Javier Manquillo suffered a hamstring problem, Bruce stated that DeAndre Yedlin might have broken his hand following the fixture.
With Emil Krafth also currently in Steve Bruce’s squad, a move to Newcastle would result in fierce competition for a starting XI spot and could also play a factor in Tavernier’s desire to leave Rangers.