CHARLTON are leading the race to sign Rangers midfielder Greg Docherty after his switch to Sunderland hit a stumbling block.

The 23-year-old will be allowed to leave Ibrox for the rest of the campaign after failing to make an impression with Steven Gerrard’s side so far this term.

Sunderland were in pole position to land Docherty to aid their promotion push as boss Phil Parkinson looks to lead the Black Cats back to the Championship.

But the League One outfit have been unable to strike a deal with Rangers and will have to increase their offer on Docherty’s wages if they are to sign the former Hamilton star this month.

Shrewsbury were also in the running to sign Docherty following a successful loan stint last term but it is Charlton that now look likely to clinch a switch that will take the midfielder south of the border once again.

Addicks boss Lee Bowyer was critical of Joe Aribo for leaving The Valley to join Rangers in the summer and Docherty could now head in the opposition direction after a frustrating first half of the campaign.

Docherty has made just five first team appearances for Rangers this season but he was part of Gerrard’s squad for the winter training camp in Dubai earlier this month.

Gerrard has insisted that he won’t stand in the way of players that need to play matches this season as he looks to reduce the size of his Ibrox pool.

Andy King has cut short his loan spell with the Gers, while midfielder Jamie Barjonas has clinched a switch to Partick Thistle and Eros Grezda has returned to former club Osijek.