Canadian striker Iké Ugbo linked with Scottish giants Rangers and Premier League new boys Burnley
Iké Ugbo will surely be on the move this summer.
With his club Troyes dismally relegated from Ligue 1 already with just four wins and 23 points from 36 games, the English-born Canadian international striker is unlikely to stick around.
And, despite an underwhelming individual season in a poor team, it seems he already has suitors lining up.
The Scottish Sun reports that the 24-year-old is being considered as an option by Rangers to replace their departing attackers Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent in the summer.
An intriguing aspect here is that Gers boss Michael Beale knows Ugbo from his time as a youth talent at Chelsea. Beale was a youth coach at the Premier League club from 2002 until 2012; Ugbo joined Chelsea’s academy system in 2007. Beale is thought to be keen on a reunion over a decade later.
If he did move to Glasgow, Ugbo wouldn’t have the chance to link up with compatriot Scott Arfield, who is also leaving Rangers at the end of this season. But the idea of him facing Alistair Johnston in the Glasgow Derby next season is pretty intriguing.
However, the Gers will have to fight off competition from promoted side Burnley, who are also reported by the Scottish Sun to be keen on the attacker. A chance to play in the Premier League could be too tempting for Ugbo to turn down, especially given the context that he never made a first-team appearance at Stamford Bridge.
Ugbo has three years left on the four-year deal he signed when he made an initial loan move to Troyes a permanent transfer last summer. The French club are thought to value him at around £3.5 million ($5.9 million CAD).
The London-born striker had several loan spells during his time at Chelsea, including at Barnsley and Brugge, before joining Belgian side Genk in 2021. From there, he made a loan spell at Troyes permanent last summer, signing a four-year deal.
But things have not turned out well.
Ugbo has played 23 times in the league since his permanent move to the already-relegated Ligue 1 side, but he has only started seven of those games and has only scored twice. Perhaps it’s understandable that Rangers fans don’t seem keen, with one fan site calling the link “laughable.”
Related read: Troyes head coach questions Iké Ugbo’s commitment, explains squad omission
But a move — the right move, at least — would help him regain his form and his confidence and force his way back into CanMNT contention. Ugbo, who played for England Under-20s before switching to Canada in 2021, has won eight caps since his debut. He was named on John Herdman’s 53-man preliminary roster for the Nations League finals but is unlikely to make the final cut, although he did travel to the World Cup in Qatar as part of the squad.
His career needs a shot in the arm. He will look to the resurgence of Cyle Larin as evidence of what a savvy transfer can do for your career.