Regardless of how the season ends for Rangers, Philippe Clement has a summer of significant upheaval to contend with. Recent games have shown that while the Belgian has done a remarkable job in hauling his ragtag, uneven squad up by the bootstraps and back into the title race, he's not a miracle worker.

There's been much talk of his players' lack of winning mentality and desire after losing their grip on the title race. The truth, brutally exposed by Ross County and Dundee, is that this squad lacks enough quality to perform as consistently as required over the course of a long season. It's that simple.

Compare Celtic's spine to Rangers'; Joe Hart, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Callum McGregor and Kyogo versus Jack Butland, Connor Goldson, John Lundstram and Cyriel Dessers. Even the most myopic supporter of the Ibrox club would surely admit one is significantly stronger. Of the two team's backbone, only Butland would play from the start in a combined XI while Dessers wouldn't even be second choice, with Adam Idah a more rounded forward.

With five Premiership games left Rangers may yet lift the title, but if they do it's the Ibrox club's single greatest domestic managerial achievement in decades, and arguably ever. That's the scale of the challenge they face.

Yes, Celtic have had a patchy season, marked by mercurial performances, often both excellent and awful in the same 90 minutes. For a while, it looked a case of when the wheels would come off, not if. And yet, as players have returned from injuries, they've steadily improved and stabilised. They are no great shakes but given a three-point advantage the title is theirs to lose.

The possibility of Rangers being weakened further emerged in midweek with dramatic news from the desert. Saudi club Al-Ettifaq, managed by Steven Gerrard, are reportedly interested in taking the cornerstone of the Ibrox club's defence - and their captain and vice-captain - to the Kingdom next season.

While it's tempting to take this development with a pinch of salt as an obvious and lazy link given Gerrard's history with the two players, the Saudi media has form in recent times, revealing Jota's £25m move from Parkhead in the summer. 

For the players, the situation can be summed up in two words - money talks. If Jordan Henderson can be prised out of Liverpool, don't doubt that anyone from Scotland would follow. While both are amongst the best-paid in the country their salaries would likely be doubled, trebled, maybe even quadrupled. And all of it tax-free. Tavernier is 32, Goldson 31. With years running out, it would be the ultimate final payday.

While Tavernier, in particular, is understood to be very settled in Glasgow, but two or three years of that money would secure his family's lifestyle for the rest of his days. That sort of decision requires careful consideration in an industry where a miss-timed tackle or awkward landing can wipe out a career in a split second.

He would be wary of facing such a cultural change off the field while the shift in levels upon it are not to be ignored. Henderson only lasted a few months at Al-Ettifaq while other big names are said to be keen to return to Europe. The Dammam club have a 15,000 stadium but often struggle to persuade any more than 5000 through the turnstiles. Away games are even worse with some failing to bring in even a thousand fans. It's a very different atmosphere from what's offered at Ibrox every second week.

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Of the two, you'd imagine Goldson might be most likely to take an offer. His relationship with Rangers fans has been a rollercoaster for a while now and his recent form has been the worst of his career in Scotland. Many supporters, perhaps unfairly as Goldson strongly contends, struggle to forgive him for his part in the Europa League final equaliser that led to a penalty shoot-out loss against Frankfurt.

He cut a weary figure when asked about the demands of the club on a podcast earlier this week saying: "It's amazing but it's tough. Mentally, physically... I think you have to come here and be a certain type of person to survive. In the good times, it's the best club in the world, it's amazing. There are nights and days you will experience... You don't get many clubs that provide you with that but with the highs come the lows and I've been through bad patches here and it's tough. The fans are demanding."

Should Gerrard decide to pursue the duo, Clement will have lots to ponder. The Belgian knows that the departures would free up a significant chunk of the wage bill while he'd also be banking two healthy transfer fees to allow key leaders to walk away. Suddenly a summer rebuild of the squad in his own image might be much easier to pull off.

That assumes replacing their quality would be achievable. Replacing Goldson is one thing but finding someone to match Tavernier, already on 24 goals and 10 assists this season from right-back, is nigh on impossible. Only when he's gone will people begin to understand just how good the Englishman has been and continues to be for the Light Blues.

However, age can't be defied in perpetuity. There have already been minor signs that Tavernier isn't quite the physical dynamo he once was. Does he get up and down with quite the same elan? Is he still as quick over 10 yards? The jury is out on both of those queries. One thing that can't be denied is his ability to provide inspiration through deeds. People question his medal haul but history is littered with good players stymied by the quality around them. That's Tavernier's story.

Perhaps the first person whose door the Rangers manager will knock when pondering such issues is the club's recruitment specialist Nils Koppen. If the former PSV talent-spotter can pinpoint players further up the pitch who can make up for Tavernier's level of return, perhaps Dujon Sterling is primed to take over the role permanently. He's certainly a more natural defender than his captain and, at 24 has his best years ahead of him.

While Rangers will be reluctant to embark on another rebuild, after a summer of huge player flux, it's what's required - win or lose. Celtic will not be as weak next term. 

While the club's directors and investors committed to spending money, there's not a king's ransom sloshing around. Sales will have to be made to fund changes. It's also worth noting that Mohamed Diomande's transfer fee is already £4.5m committed to be spent in the summer. Fellow loanee Oscar Cortes, who looked a certain purchase before his injury, wouldn't be cheap either.

Clement has fraught decisions to make in every area. Saudi money would likely make things a lot easier.