Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, fresh off the stunning acquisition of Charlton’s Joe Aribo, seems to be making preparations for life without two key men, and one surplus squad addition.
Press reports claim Gerrard is keen to sell £650,000 man Kyle Lafferty to whoever will take him, and his exclusion from the Algarve indicates clearly his Rangers time is up, so the sooner Rangers can find a suitor for the big Ulster lad the better.
However, the more concerning stories revolve around Gerrard’s concession that while Rangers are not actively seeking buyers for Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier, the interest in them and their general monetary value suggests they are expendable for the right price and any new marquee targets Stevie seeks would likely depend on selling these two.
“Am I expecting a bid? Possibly. So I’ll make a decision if and when a bid lands. Every player has a price. But if bids come in that are nowhere near acceptable then the answer is going to be a straight no. If a bid comes in that’s an eye opener or if it’s at the level we rate the player we’ll have a decision to make and I’ll make it there and then. We’ll have targets ready if Tav or Alfredo was to go. I think it would be very stupid and naive of me if I wasn’t prepared.”
Refreshing honesty from him – in short, potentially expecting a bid, but will only sell if it meets Rangers’ expectations for either player. And crucially, has replacements in place in the case of either playing moving on.
In terms of value? Information remains that Morelos would be expected to fetch around £20M – MD Stewart Robertson stated that last season, and while Morelos’ hurt his value with that Old Firm red card plus saw it reduce via exclusion from the Colombian Copa America squad, time heals that kind of thing and Rangers would certainly expect present market value for a player of his calibre.
As for Tavernier, sources suggest he’s expected to start at around £10M, but more would be anticipated. Nearer £15M, possibly higher.
But as Gerrard states, as yet, no fresh bids received for either of these players so it’s not exactly a problem yet.
But, it’s evident that Rangers are preparing for potential life after Morelos and Tavernier, and it’s only sensible for a club of Rangers’ standing to do this.