Ryan Kent refuses to commit long-term future yet to Rangers

Ryan Kent refuses to commit long-term future yet to Rangers
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 02: Ryan Kent of Rangers in action during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at Ibrox Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

For the very first time since the contract situation began, Ryan Kent has finally addressed the speculation over his future, and he has confirmed he has a ‘decision to make’.

The Rangers winger, seeing an upturn in his form under Michael Beale with an assist and two goals in seven appearances and generally improved performances, has been a source of ire for fans irritated at his lack of clarification over his contract, and his loss of form prior to Beale’s arrival.

Speaking, at long long long last, on the topic after his impressive showing at Rugby Park, Kent said:

“Not as of yet (decision on his future), just concentrating on the remainder of this season and I am sitting down with the manager and discussing my future. It’s not (a distraction) for myself, maybe for people discussing it on the outside it may seem that way.”

This shows Kent hasn’t even ‘decided’ whether he’ll accept Rangers’ offer, and the next bit is even more telling:

“I will just keep concentrating on my game, I have full trust in the manager to keep backing me to play and we’ll go from there. Yes (existing relationship with Beale mattering) the manager’s been key in my career since I was a young lad. Full trust and the trust is reciprocated between one another so he’s a quality manager and a quality coach.”

What does this tell us? It tells us he rates Michael Beale highly, and that is, for him, a major factor in weighing up whether to stay, but equally, it’s not actually been enough to have him accept the contract offer which has been there for a very, very long time.

Beale has been the Rangers manager since November, and that’s not made Kent make the decision, so his lip service to the boss is, as yet, not enough alone for him to sign.

It still boils down to money. Douglas Park confirmed the offer Rangers’ board had made to Kent and Morelos simply hadn’t been accepted because there’s only so much the board has in its budget to offer them.

That Kent is sitting on the contract offer doesn’t bode particularly well for the prospects of him staying, and just like Connor Goldson he’s confirming he has a decision to make. In Goldson’s case, he didn’t get the offers he wanted from down south to decided to accept Rangers’ deal. In Kent’s case, if he had any good offers at this point, the lad would have signed a precontract.

He’s playing for time, and he has all the power here. He does like Beale, no question, but that alone is not enough to make him stay. Kent will wait till the end of this window and see if any big offers come in for him from the Premier League, and if not, he’ll then make the decision he’s either signing or becoming a free agent in the summer.

We just have to wait.

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