Rangers counting the cost of Champions League exit

Steven Gerrard admits it would be naïve to think Rangers’ Champions League failure will have no impact on their transfer business.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 8:00 am

But the Rangers boss stressed there had been no suggestion from the board that they would be in a rush to sell players on the back of their defeat by Malmo.

Rangers dropped into the Europa League play-offs after a home defeat by the 10-man Swedish outfit on Tuesday, missing out on a potential £30million windfall in the process.

The loss has led to expectations that the likes of Alfredo Morelos and Glen Kamara might need to be sold to balance the books.

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Rangers boss Steven Gerrard. Pic by Getty.

Rangers announced in November last year that they would need about £23m in external investment before the end of this season, and have not paid any transfer fees this summer despite launching a £6.75m share issue.

When asked if anyone might have to be sold or would look to leave, Gerrard said: “Not on the back of the last two results in terms of Europe, but at the same time I’m well aware of how this club works and how it runs. We are a club that, if the right numbers land for our players, we do have to recycle. I’m well aware of that.

“But nothing has been said to me since the game in terms of being in a rush to do that. Nothing has changed in terms of me wanting to keep my best players here to give us the best chance of being successful.”

But he added: “I’m not naïve enough to sit here and think that the last two results won’t have an impact somewhere down the line.”

Gerrard, who promised to field a strong team against Dunfermline in the Premier Sports Cup tonight, said: “Hand on heart, we haven’t had a realistic bid in black and white for any of our players, we haven’t had a serious phone call for any of our players.”

Malmo boss Jon Dahl Tomasson had claimed Rangers were big favourites to proceed because of the incomparable finances, but Gerrard claimed his side would have been over-achieving in reaching the Champions League play-offs.

“The realistic opinion from me is maybe we’re not ready,” he said. “Are we ready for PSG, are we ready for Chelsea and Man City to come to Ibrox? Maybe not. We have proven we are a last-16 team in the Europa League.

“We have tried to punch above our weight in the last week and move into the Champions League play-off round.

“We couldn’t achieve it, we have to accept that and move on to the next challenge as soon as possible.”

Fashion Sakala misses out against the Pars with a groin strain, while Ryan Jack (calf) and Niko Katic (knee) are not yet ready to feature for the first team following surgery.