Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall has said that Jack Simpson has an opportunity to show his potential when he moves to Rangers, and revealed that Steven Gerrard tried to sign the defender on loan last year.
Rangers have announced that Simpson has signed a pre-contract agreement to move to Ibrox on July 1 when his deal with the Cherries expires.
The 24-year-old, who has been capped at Under-21 level by England, was praised by Tindall for his work and the Bournemouth boss believes he now has his “rewards”.
“It’s been going on in the background for some time now,” he said. “I know Stevie liked Jack and I think it was just over a year ago he tried to sign him on loan.
“Credit to the football club for all the work they’ve done with Jack Simpson on the training ground and credit to Jack for all the work that he’s done. There were times when he wasn’t playing and he was frustrated but he stuck at it, worked on his game and now he’s got his rewards for that.
“It’s a shame we’re losing him but we wish him all the best. He’s been with us a long time and I’m really pleased that he’s going to go somewhere that he feels he’s going to be happy and progress and develop his career.
“Stevie wanted him back then but the club didn’t want to let him go out on loan.
“They’ve been tracking him ever since and I think where Jack was a year ago to where he is now, is a lot better player. He’s done a lot of work on the training ground, he’s been very patient and credit to him.”
Tindall believes Rangers improvement in recent seasons, and form in the league this season, made the club an attractive proposition.
He said: “I think when you look at how well Rangers are doing, especially this season, and how well Stevie Gerrard is doing as manager, it looks like they’re going to win the league and have European football and always be fighting for the title and the domestic cup competitions.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Jack to go to a big club and show everybody what he’s capable of. And hopefully do really well and who knows where his career might go off the back of that move.”
Simpson will face competition in central defence with Connor Goldson, Filip Helander, Nikola Katic and Leon Balogun already on the books at Ibrox. Tindall said that the stopper’s experience at Bournemouth would stand him in good stead.
“He won’t be going there expecting to play straight away, although he would like to, but he’s been in a position where he had to fight for an opportunity here and now he’ll go to Rangers and fight for the opportunity to play there,” the manager said.
“It’s down to him to show the manager and everyone else that he wants his place in the team, and once he’s in it’s down to him to keep the shirt and that’ll only be by the way you perform.”
Simpson could be joined in his journey north by Bournemouth midfielder Nnamdi Ofoborh, with Tindall saying that talks with Rangers over a similar pre-contract deal were likely to be concluded.
“I think so,” he said. “From the conversations I’ve had with Nnamdi I think they are down the line on that one. I know it’s a club that I think he would want to go and play for.
“He’s not as far down the line as what Jack is but I think he’s close to agreeing to go to Rangers.”