Rangers have stolen a march on Rovers to land goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin on a two-year deal.

McLaughlin opted to turn down the offer of a new deal at League One side Sunderland to become Steven Gerrard’s first signing of the summer.

The 32-year-old had been a long-term target for Rovers, who have been in the market for a goalkeeper since the departure of David Raya to Brentford last summer.

They brought in Christian Walton on a season-long loan deal from Brighton, with the 24-year-old having been an ever-present in the Championship this season. However, he will return to his parent club in the summer, and with one-year left to run on his deal at the AMEX Stadium, is expected to be offered a new contract by Albion.

With the future of back-up goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler also in doubt, Rovers will likely need to sign two new goalkeepers, but Tony Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph last week that no budgets had been drawn up for next season, meaning talk of McLaughlin being a done deal to Ewood Park was premature.

With the Scottish Premiership season having been curtailed, Rangers have been able to prepare for the 2020/21 campaign which has seen the twice-capped Scotland international brought in as competition for Allan McGregor.

Sunderland had made the former Hearts man an offer to stay on Wearside, but he has returned north of the border having agreed a deal through to 2022.

“It’s a very proud moment for myself and for the family. It is great to be back up here in Scotland and we are very proud to have made the deal happen and I am really looking forward to now getting back to football and starting my next chapter here with an amazing football club.” McLaughlin told Rangers’ club website.

“Knowing the club already, and what a massive club it is and what a huge opportunity it could be, and speaking with the manager and his staff, and knowing the vision and the direction they have got, and what they are trying to achieve here, and the opportunity to be a part of that and hopefully be a part of something special here was what sold it to me.”

After McGregor’s retirement from international football, McLaughlin has become No.2 to Wigan Athletic goalkeeper David Marshall.

Gerrard added: “Jon is a vastly experienced professional who will add strength and depth to our squad.

“He is here to compete for the number one shirt and will add much needed competition for places. He was involved in playoffs with Sunderland and will thrive on the pressurised environment at Ibrox.

“His experience in the SPFL will stand by him as he continues to fight for a place in the Scotland squad.”