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Sport James Sands in permanent Rangers transfer assessment as he delivers honest verdict after US boss game time warning

10:41  01 august  2022
10:41  01 august  2022 Source:   dailyrecord.co.uk

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Rangers loanee James Sands has admitted he would be "lucky" to land a permanent deal at Ibrox as he looks to ramp up his minutes next season.

Sands arrived in January on an 18-month loan from New York City FC but was mainly used as a squad player by Gio van Bronckhorst last season as he got to grips with the Scottish Premiership. The 22-year-old made just nine appearances during the first six months of his Ibrox career with the Dutchman mainly brining Sands on as a substitute, however he did make an appearance in the Europa League final showpiece.

Reports in America suggest Rangers will have to fork out £4.5 million if they want to keep Sands at the club beyond the end of the upcoming campaign, and Sands knows he will have to grasp any opportunity he can to prove himself in Govan. He has been a regular in pre-season being handed game time in friendlies against Tottenham and Blackpool ahead of the opening day clash with Livingston.

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Sands said: “Obviously I would love it. It’s a big club and anybody would be lucky to play here. It’s always a little out of your hands as I have to be performing and playing well to earn that opportunity. I’m just going to focus on playing.”

With his game time limited on Rangers' route to Seville and Scottish Cup success last season, Sands missed out on US head coach Gregg Berhalter's squad this summer for friendly clashes and Nations League fixtures. The versatile American admits he has been told he must get more time on the park by the boss.

He added: “Part of my draw for the national team is partly being able to play both positions. So with a 26-man roster I think they’ll be looking for versatile players. But when I last spoke to the manager at the national team he said I had to be playing more than I was in the spring to be considered for the team. That’s an achievable goal so I’ve got my mind set on that.”

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