Belfast Telegraph

Kyle Lafferty wanted by European side in bid to spark title tilt

Little impact: Kyle Lafferty has struggled at Rangers
Little impact: Kyle Lafferty has struggled at Rangers

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland and Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty is being linked with a move to Apollon Limassol of Cyprus.

The Fermanagh man's second spell at Ibrox has failed to take off and boss Steven Gerrard could be prepared to cut short a contract that runs until the summer of 2020.

The 31-year-old has made just seven starts since leaving Hearts last August, and has scored seven goals in 37 appearances.

Alfredo Morelos has been the first choice striker, with Jermain Defoe moving ahead of Lafferty since his arrival on an 18-month loan deal from Bournemouth in January.

The Cypriot First Division side are interested in recruiting Lafferty and Hearts midfielder Arnaud Djoum to strengthen their squad for a tilt at the league title next season.

They can offer both players the carrot of European football having finished third in the Cypriot league to earn a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds.

Limassol, who tried to sign Lafferty last summer, hope to get their man this time around.

The former Norwich City frontman has struggled to make an impact at Ibrox and may relish a new challenge to revive his career.

Limassol finished third in the league last season, sealing a Europa League spot, entering at the first qualifying round.

If he makes the move, it will be Lafferty's fourth spell abroad, having previously played for Swiss side FC Sion, Palermo in Italy and spent time on loan at Turkish team Çaykur Rizespor Kulübü.

He will be included in the Northern Ireland squad for next month's Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures against Estonia and Belarus.

Boss Michael O'Neill names his squad this morning fresh from a second training camp in Manchester.

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