James Sands NYCFC

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Reports

UPDATE: Jan. 4, 10:40 am ET – Rangers FC are nearing closer to completing a loan move for New York City FC homegrown standout James Sands, according to numerous reports.

Jordan Campbell, who covers Rangers and Scottish soccer for The Athletic, tweeted detailed terms of the pending deal, which would be an 18-month loan with a purchase option for the 21-year-old.

Sands featured as a center back, defensive midfielder and right back during NYCFC's MLS Cup 2021-winning season. He has also earned seven US men’s national team caps.

ORIGINAL: Dec. 29, 11:40 am ET – Following a breakthrough season for club and country, New York City FC homegrown James Sands has drawn interest from Scottish giants Rangers, with the Glasgow-based club looking for a loan deal with a purchase option, according to a report in tuttomercatoweb.com.

The 21-year-old midfielder/defender is coming off a campaign in which he helped NYCFC lift their first-ever MLS Cup title. He was also part of the US men’s national team that captured the Concacaf Gold Cup against Mexico.

The versatile Sands, who has featured at defensive midfielder and center back, broke into Gregg Berhalter’s squad in 2021 and earned his first seven caps. He also started all 26 of his appearances for NYCFC, playing a career-high 2,262 MLS minutes.

Sands, NYCFC's first homegrown signing, has been a regular starter for three seasons.

After making his MLS debut in 2017, coming off the substitute’s bench for Andrea Pirlo, Sands has enjoyed a meteoric rise and appears poised to make the jump to Europe, following fellow NYCFC academy alums Giovanni Reyna and Joe Scally.

As ESPN's Taylor Twellman noted, it appears to be a matter of when, not if, Sands makes the move.

This comes a day after another report that Brazilian Serie A side Palmeiras made a $12.5 million bid for NYCFC striker Taty Castellanos, who won the 2021 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi award.