Gerrard keen to ensure Rangers pin star man down to new deal

Steven Gerrard is confident of tying Alfredo Morelos down on a new deal as Rangers looks to ward off interest in the in-form frontman.

Morelos has bagged six goals in 11 appearances this term and was this week rewarded with his first international call-up by Colombia.

But Gerrard has already had to rebuff a £3.75million offer for the 22-year-old within the last fortnight and is keen to ensure no-one else tries to lure the former HJK Helsinki striker away before Friday’s transfer deadline.

The Ibrox manager, speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League crunch with Russian side Ufa, said: “I’m delighted for Alfredo. He’s a very confident player anyway, he always believes he can deliver so it was no surprise for me to see him get a call-up.

“He has been in fantastic form and we are all delighted for him. We hope he can go away and do himself justice and I believe that he will.

“Yes, there has been progress with regards a new contract, we’ll have to wait and see how that pan out.

“But he is in talks, it’s on-going. We’re hoping there is some good news to report soon.”

Gerrard will hope his team do not slip-up on Ufa’s plastic pitch as they look to clinch a place in the group stages of the Europa League.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 12: Steven Gerrard manager of Rangers looks on during the UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round match between Rangers and Shkupi at Ibrox Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Steven Gerrard

The Ibrox men hold a 1-0 advantage going into the second leg at the Neftyanik Stadium but the second-leg showdown see Gers forced back onto a synthetic surface just 10 days after Gerrard claimed they had no place in elite-level football following the season-ending injury suffered by Jamie Murphy at Rugby Park.

However, the Light Blues boss is confident his team will be able to sidestep trouble on Ufa’s artificial turf.

“We don’t see the pitch being a problem,” he stressed. “It’s the same for both teams and Rangers have experience of these surfaces in our domestic league.

“I think it’s three teams that use artificial surfaces and we also have an artificial surface at the training ground so this is not the first time for my players. We have many times played on plastic surfaces so we don’t see it as a problem.”