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Rangers dismiss Alfredo Morelos bid as Gerrard aims to strengthen squad

 

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Transfer speculation: Alfredo Morelos vies with Coventry’s Declan Drysdale on Saturday

Transfer speculation: Alfredo Morelos vies with Coventry’s Declan Drysdale on Saturday

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Transfer speculation: Alfredo Morelos vies with Coventry’s Declan Drysdale on Saturday

Rangers have knocked back Lille's opening offer for Alfredo Morelos - with the French club's bid for the Colombian "some way short" of the Ibrox outfit's valuation.

Reports have suggested Gers boss Steven Gerrard was bracing himself to say goodbye to his talisman amid speculation that the Ligue 1 outfit have agreed personal terms with the striker.

The report originated in France with television network RMC Sport claiming that both clubs were moving towards agreeing a transfer deal.

But it's understood that while a bid has been submitted, it is nowhere close to the sum the Light Blues are looking for and no further talks are planned.

Lille finished fourth in Ligue 1 last season and are about to pocket a reported £55m fee for Napoli-bound striker Victor Osimhen.

Morelos has three years left on his Ibrox deal but has never hidden his desire to play in a richer league than the Scottish Premiership.

The Colombia international scored 28 of his 29 goals last season before New Year and was sent off twice in quick succession in late December.

The 24-year-old has cut a frustrated figure at times during pre-season and a sale could allow Gerrard to strengthen his team.

Speaking after a 2-0 pre-season victory over Coventry on Saturday, Gerrard said: "We need more. I have told the club that, I've been honest and open with what I feel we need.

"In terms of where we are at from a financial point of view, they are questions for other people - but I have made it quite clear that we need to add to what we've got. We need to add players into the XI to make us stronger and then, naturally, that will make the squad stronger. At the moment, we still need to get people in the door."

However, Gerrard already had a shortage of strikers heading into Saturday's opening Premiership encounter against Aberdeen at Pittodrie. Jermain Defoe picked up a hamstring injury last week and is expected to be out for at least a fortnight, while there has been no direct replacement following the end of Hibernian forward Florian Kamberi's loan spell.

Gerrard added: "That's the one area that's giving me a slight concern as we haven't got enough numbers in that area. But we are actively looking to try to add in that area."

The likes of Greg Stewart and Jamie Murphy have played upfront previously in their careers, although they normally play on the wing or just behind the striker.

Gerrard hopes to line up another behind-closed-doors friendly this week as he bids to get Filip Helander ready for the new season.

The big Swede made his first appearance since injuring his foot in December's Betfred Cup final defeat to Celtic when he came on for the final half-hour against Coventry.

The Ibrox boss - whose side claimed victory over Mark Robins' League One winners thanks to goals from Joe Aribo and Connor Goldson - said: "I don't think the results are super important at the moment.

"It's more about getting minutes and valuable game time into the players so they are ready individually for a long season. In terms of the results and the performances, we're pretty content and happy. We're hoping to get another friendly in place for Tuesday for some of the lads who haven't started as many games as we'd have liked during pre-season."

Gerrard is confident Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis will make the trip to the Granite City after sitting out the clash with the Sky Blues.

He said: "He's got a little Achilles niggle. He had it a couple of weeks ago but it only lasted a day or two then he came back into training. It flared up again yesterday and we just didn't want to take the risk.

"We're hoping he'll be back in a couple of days. It's nothing serious."

Belfast Telegraph