Sarver in £30m Le­vante trans­fer cash vow

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - LIND­SAY HER­RON

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

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