Rangers look set to complete the signing of Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga on a free transfer this summer, and should he make the move to Ibrox, it will surely be curtains for Jermaine Defoe’s time playing under Steven Gerrard.
According to teamTALK, Assombalonga wants to join Rangers and is willing to take a pay cut in order to make it happen, so it seems quite likely that he will be joining up with Gerrard’s squad ahead of next season.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed superb spells at Peterborough United and Nottingham Forest in the past, so whilst his time at Middlesbrough has been rather more sedate, Rangers will clearly be hoping he can rediscover his goalscoring touch at Ibrox.
The DR Congo international will likely compete for a starting spot with Alfredo Morelos, Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten, which suggests that there will be no room for veteran Defoe at Ibrox.
The former Tottenham striker’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and with no new deal on the horizon, it seems likely that he will depart the Light Blues in the summer.
If Assombalonga’s signing were to be confirmed, then it is unfortunately difficult to see where the 38-year-old fits in despite him being such a well-respected figure at Ibrox.
Earlier in the season, after Defoe reached 800 career appearances, Gerrard sang his former England teammate’s praises, saying: “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.
Defoe has been limited to just three starts in the Premiership so far this season and therefore it would be difficult to justify giving him a new deal at the club, especially if Assombalonga arrives, so it seems as if that would be the cue for him to leave Rangers this summer.