Liam Kelly Rangers transfer talk has Barry Ferguson asking Jack Butland Ibrox future question

Barry Ferguson has questioned whether Rangers' reported interest in Liam Kelly has anything to do with Jack Butland's future.

The Motherwell skipper - who came through the ranks at Ibrox - is out of contract at Fir Park and has been linked with a move back to the club on a free. Current No.1 Butland has had a stunning first campaign since his arrival under Michael Beale last year, scooping the club Player of the Year awards and was also nominated for the big ones in Scotland. He was a key figure behind Rangers' title challenge with Celtic, qualification to the knockout stages in the Europa League and will have a big say against the Hoops in the Scottish Cup this weekend.

Ibrox hero Ferguson would not be surprised in the slightest if Butland had interest from elsewhere due to his performances but reckons he would NOT move on if he wasn't going to be a number one. He spent years on the sidelines at Crystal Palace and Manchester United and after getting back to his best this campaign, can't see him settling for less than a starring role.

Speaking on Go Radio about Kelly and the Rangers links, Ferguson said: "Well it looks that way. I will be honest I don't know. He came through the youth ranks then went to Livingston, another club [QPR] and then Motherwell. He's been captain but what does that tell you? Does that tell you maybe Jack Butland has interest in him? I wouldn't be surprised if Jack has interest because of the way he has played."

Andy Walker chipped in: "Just even in a business sense, Barry. If he is free he isn't going to cost a lot of money. It is just his wage if his contract is up. He's got so much experience of the top flight in Scotland so it maybe makes sense."

Ferguson continued: "The worry is you are going to lose your best player at this moment in time. Every player has a price on their head. Rangers got Jack on a free transfer - obviously a big salary - but I am sure there will be Premier League clubs looking at him as their No1. I can't see him going anywhere else unless he is going to be No1.

"He had a couple of seasons there he never played much at Crystal Palace and went on loan to Manchester United. This is the first real season he's played the vast majority of games. I am sure that is a concern for the Rangers supporters that they could be losing a player of the quality of Jack Butland."