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Rangers not under pressure to cash in on Morelos, says Murty



Key man: Alfredo Morelos is unlikely to leave Ibrox today

Key man: Alfredo Morelos is unlikely to leave Ibrox today

Key man: Alfredo Morelos is unlikely to leave Ibrox today

Rangers manager Graeme Murty claims there is no "economic necessity" to sell Alfredo Morelos after his top goalscorer attracted a bid from China.

The unnamed club remain in talks with Rangers but Murty has been promised the Colombian will not leave unless he has an adequate replacement lined up.

Reports claim up to £7million is on the table for the 21-year-old, who has scored 13 goals since joining from HJK Helsinki for around £1million last summer.

Rangers were about £16million in debt at the start of the campaign and a shortfall of £4million was earmarked this season, before the club paid off Pedro Caixinha and set about overhauling his squad.

"Talks are ongoing, they haven't met our valuation," said Murty. "We have to make a footballing decision based on whether we can resource someone of Alfredo's footballing ability. I've not been told there is any economic necessity to move him away.

"It's about making sure we close the gap (on Celtic). If we can push on by keeping him, then that's what we do. We have to safeguard the positive feeling around the club and the squad and make a solid footballing decision.

"I'm not going to allow a player to leave just because there are lots of zeros involved. Taking Alfredo out of our squad without a ready-made replacement to strengthen us is not a decision I'm prepared to make."

Murty has discussed alternatives with director of football Mark Allen, but added: "At the moment we don't see any way to replace what Alfredo brings. Alfredo is our top goalscorer, he is doing really well and has adjusted to our challenge, our club and our culture very well.

"We have to make sure that everything that Alfredo has as a target, we can show him he can accomplish here. If he wants to get into the Colombia squad, he can do it here. If he wants to be top goalscorer in the country, he can do it here.

"He does that by tearing up trees at this club, because he has a fantastic support, a fantastic platform, a wonderful stage to be on TV loads of times every month, to really showcase what he's about.

"If that's the case, these guys from China won't be the last people to come calling about him. We have to make sure he understands that he can really push his status up at this football club."

Murty has added Sean Goss, Jamie Murphy, Jason Cummings, Russell Martin and Greg Docherty this month as well as making Declan John's loan move permanent nd welcoming back loanees Michael O'Halloran, Joe Dodoo and Andy Halliday.

The only experienced players to depart have been Danny Wilson and Carlos Pena and Murty admitted his squad was "heavy" ahead of tonight's transfer deadline.

"There have been enquiries for lots of players," he added. "Once again it comes down to footballing decisions. If someone goes out the building, can we get better in?"

Belfast Telegraph