Sarver in £30m Levante transfer cash vow
ONE-TIME Rangers suitor Robert Sarver has promised to invest a whopping £30m transfer kitty into Spanish club Levante.
The American banker tried to buy Rangers at the start of this year, but his £20m offer was rejected.
He has since turned his attention to the La Liga side and his offer has been backed by the Levante Foundation – the shareholders’ group who run the club.
The owner of American basketball team Phoenix Suns, who play in the NBA, has pledged to spend big once he receives the green light to become the club’s new owner.
Sarver plans to spend around £40m at the Valencia-based club – who finished 14th in the Spanish top flight last season – after completing the takeover and has insisted the manager, Lucas Alcaraz, will be given up to £30m to bolster his squad in the transfer market.
Sarver made two offers to take control of the Ibrox club in January before Dave King made a return to Rangers as chairman last season.
PETER McCloy, the legendary Rangers goalkeeper, has urged Mark Warburton to make a top-class custodian a priority on his list of new signings in order to get the best out of current incumbent Cammy Bell.
Bell suffered a disastrous end to the season when he punched Marvin Johnson’s deflected shot into his own net to ensure Rangers had no chance of retrieving the Premiership play-off final against Motherwell.
McCloy, who starred with Rangers in the 1970s and early 1980s, believes Bell can fully recover to be a top goalkeeper again. But the man who was known to his team-mates as the Girvan Lighthouse says Bell must have a serious challenge for the gloves in what will be a critical first season for the new management duo of Warburton and Davie Weir.
McCloy, who played 533 games and won 11 major honours for the Ibrox side, said: “The club must go out and get another goalkeeper to give him a challenge for the No.1 spot – not just a back-up.
“I had great competition throughout my career with Stewart Kennedy, Jim Stewart and Nicky Walker and it doesn’t do you any harm. I hope the club have someone in mind who will fight tooth and nail for that jersey.
“Rangers have released the other two keepers, Steve Simonsen and Lee Robinson, and they have to get another one in soon because you need a challenge. It will definitely help Cammy if he is pushed by another keeper to get back to where he wants to be. There is a really big season coming up as Rangers try to get back to the Premiership and the goalkeeper has to be a commanding figure.”
McCloy cringed when he watched Bell fumble at Fir Park because he knows how hard it is to come back from a howler when you play for either side of the Old Firm.
He said: “When you make a mistake like that, you want to get out and play again as quickly as you can but, of course, Cammy couldn’t do that as it was the last game of the season.
“I think he just lost his bearings and his footwork wasn’t so good but he shouldn’t be hung out to dry for one mistake.
“I think Cammy got caught up in things a little bit in the final part of the season and he wasn’t commanding the box the way he should have been doing and he has to get back to doing that.
“I think his confidence dipped a wee bit through one or two things that happened but once he gets back working with Jim Stewart he can get that back again.
“Injuries don’t help and when he came back in some of the results weren’t so good.
“I was speaking to Alan Rough about this the other week. You’re playing with Partick Thistle and you make a mistake then you make 20 great saves and it’s all forgotten about. If you play with Rangers or Celtic it’s highlighted and you’ve got to live with it.
“The biggest thing for him is to get back in and show his capabilities to get the fans back on side because they won’t forgive you immediately. However, they will soon forget if things start to go well.”
The recruitment drive at Rangers has started with the signings of young defenders Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan with old head John Eustace also likely to sign.
McCloy added: “I’m encouraged by the new management team. We all know Davie Weir, of course, and while we don’t know Mark Warburton he comes with good credentials and we all hope things work out well for him.
“He obviously has other signings in mind but it will be difficult to attract players to play in the Scottish Championship.
“There has to be a vast improvement on last season and I think there has to be the right mix of experience and young legs.”
“I was sorry to see the way that some of the players had to leave on a bad footing last month because many of them had served the club well for a number of years.
“However, I think it was clear that the whole thing of signing experienced players didn’t work.”
When you make a mistake you want to get back out and play again as quickly as you can. But it was the last game of the season so Cammy couldn’t do that
ALARM BELL: The Rangers goalkeeper endured a nightmare finish to last term