According to Football Insider, Glasgow Rangers striker Jermain Defoe is expected to leave Ibrox this summer, with the 38-year-old entering the final four months of his existing contract.
The English striker’s game time in Glasgow has been severely limited this season following the arrivals of attacking duo Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe in the summer, while Alfredo Morelos has been in decent form for Steven Gerrard’s side in recent weeks.
Defoe has yet to start a match in the Scottish Premiership since the turn of the year while the veteran has been left as an unused substitute on the bench for just over half of his top-flight appearances so far this season.
And now, Football Insider claim Rangers are willing to grant him an amicable exit from the club in the summer to thank him for his good service, despite the fact he has no desire to hang up his boots anytime soon.
Without wanting to sound too contrarian, unlike the hapless Greg Stewart, Defoe has demonstrated his value to Rangers on more than one occasion over the years.
Since arriving at Ibrox, Defoe, who earns a reported £65,000-per-week, has helped the Light Blues finish second in the Premiership, with the Englishman scoring his 300th career club goal against Livingston in October.
Gerrard in the main has been reluctant to sever his attachment to his former international teammate, affording him chances as and when he can at a time when the 54-time Scottish champions have lit up the Premiership with the ethos of an all-out attack.
Ever the consummate professional, Defoe has patiently had to bide his time, but has still shown signs of what he has to offer, having made 12 appearances across all competitions this season with four goals and two assists to show for his four starts.
The Ibrox boss has openly admitted his admiration for his countryman and made no effort to disguise his wonder after Defoe scored again against Ross County.
He said: “It wouldn’t surprise me if he went on to 900! He is in incredible shape and he loves coming into work and he is still trying to learn and improve and get better.”
Morelos is clearly gifted if temperamentally suspect while Stewart has also been tipped for the Ibrox exit. But the arrivals of Itten and Roofe have been a fundamental problem for Defoe, for they occupy the position to which he has made his own over the years.
However, as one of the most senior and more experienced members of the squad, his knowledge could still prove invaluable in the dressing room as they look to build on their recent success, while he has proven to be a useful backup option on the bench.
Ultimately, however, it is more of a question of the kind of player, and therefore the type of football Rangers fans want to see.
AND in other news, Leon Balogun badly let Rangers down against Royal Antwerp…