Dallas Departs Gers

RANGERS can confirm Academy striker Andrew Dallas has departed the club to join Cambridge United on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.

Dallas, 20, has been a prolific goalscorer for the club’s youth sides in the last few seasons, and was on the fringes of the first-team at various points in the first half of last season.

He spent the second half of the campaign on-loan at Greenock Morton, having previously had a short loan spell away from Gers at Stenhousemuir.

He departs Ibrox with the best wishes of everyone at Rangers.

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Steven Gerrard has just dramatically changed tactic in the transfer window…

Steven Gerrard yesterday called on Alfredo Morelos himself to declare he’s happy at Ibrox and that he’s staying, and this is a very interesting change of tact on the manager’s side.

Since joining in summer 2017, the Colombian hasn’t once suggested he’s staying – he has praised the fans and said he’s happy occasionally, but the 23-year old hasn’t ever implied or even come close to it that he intends to remain long-term.

Gerrard’s gauntlet to him to appear in a press-conference alongside him while even slightly ribbing him for his infamous lack of English tongue was of a man completely fed up with both the speculation and questions over Morelos and the player’s own lack of commitment.

In two years, Morelos is the only significant Rangers player never to have appeared in front of the press, even with a translator. Every other player in our shirt has, at one point or another, appeared alongside the manager, including Sadiq, Coulibaly and Alves – the only exceptions to this were Carlos Pena and Eduardo Herrera, and they’re not the illustrious company you wish to be compared to.

Sure, many could make the point about his English not being good enough, but that’s why clubs have translators. How Morelos has managed to avoid press outings up till now we couldn’t quite tell you.

The last decent interview he gave was to RTV in August last year, almost a year ago, and while it was in Spanish it was the only time he has ever really spoken at length about Rangers.

And with all the speculation over him, and crucially his lack of commitment, his manager has got to the end of his tether with it and wants the striker to end it one way or another.

It’s unprecedented – to have a Rangers manager demand his player expresses his desire to stay. Indeed, Stevie has done a few things we’ve rarely seen before, such as publicly confirming the fee for Filip Helander.

But in this case we absolutely don’t blame the boss and indeed back this course of action. He must be completely done in with the number of times journos ask, assisted by the fact Morelos never commits.

Steven Gerrard is in a slightly tricky position here – he is unable to fully plan next season’s striking options until he knows one way or the other whether Morelos is staying. It means he doesn’t know if he needs to replace the frontman, or if he can plan ahead for life with him still at Ibrox.

And that isn’t ideal.

So, this switch in tactic is justified on the boss’s half – he needs to get some semblance of understanding what his options will be up front, and until Morelos says one way or the other over his future, he is denying his manager that.

Over to you Freddo.

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Official Rangers Podcast: Derby Review

IT’S your Official Rangers Podcast for Monday, July 29.

Rangers have their eyes focused on Thursday’s Europa League qualifying tie in Luxembourg, where they’ll carry a 2-0 lead into the second leg with Progres Niederkorn.

We have Alan McLaren looking ahead to that game in the company of Tom Miller, James Tavernier speaking about the league kick-off on Sunday and club SLO Greg Marshall with the all-important info ahead of the trip to Luxembourg this week.

Click to subscribe now in the player above.

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‘That’s why Rangers are in for him’ – Exclusive: Pundit drools over ‘brilliant’ Ibrox target

EXCLUSIVE

Noel Whelan is convinced Rangers would be pulling off a blinder if they finalise the signing of Liverpool winger Ryan Kent before the transfer cut-off.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Livingston striker believes the Gers are still in the running for Kent despite appearing to suffer a blow in their pursuit over the last 24 hours.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed it is too late in the window for Kent to be loaned out for a sixth time, and his club will only now consider permanent offers for the 22-year-old.

That would appear to be a major problem for cash-strapped duo Rangers, whose manager Steven Gerrard has made no secret of his desire to re-sign Kent, and Leeds United, who have been most strongly linked to him this summer.

“Kent would be a brilliant signing for Rangers or Leeds,” Whelan told Football Insider. “There’s no chance of him playing regularly at Liverpool, there is just too much attacking depth, so he really needs to move on this summer.

“Klopp has said Liverpool will only sell Kent permanently, but what if no-one matches their valuation? Things can change late on in a window, especially when deadline day is close. 

“At Rangers, he would be a standout player. He developed well last season and showed he can be a regular matchwinner. He is quick, technically good, can beat a man, dribble, manipulate the ball, can play on both flanks or in the number 10 role, and creates and scores goals.

“It would be a real coup for whoever signs him. That’s why Rangers are in for him, and don’t forget he has a good relationship with Steven Gerrard. That could still be a key factor in the coming days.”

Steven Gerrard has made no attempt to hide his desire to re-sign Kent for a second consecutive campaign, but has admitted his club are waiting on Liverpool for answers.

Kent travelled with the Liverpool senior squad on their pre-season tour of the USA amid the absences of star attacking trio Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, but Klopp will sell him if his club’s valuation is met.

In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that more than 10 clubs are trying to sign Rangers senior player now valued at £10million.

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Bears are bound to love fan favourite’s impressive comments

Following Sunday’s fixture against Derby Country, the matchwinner, Nikola Katic, spoke to RangersTV.

Unsurprisingly, though, the defender wasn’t getting carried away. In fact, quite the opposite.

The colossal Katic is looking to earn himself a regular role at centre-back. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old comes across as a very level-headed individual for his age. Therefore, rather than waxing lyrical about his decisive goal, he talked more about his mistake from the week previous.

Katic inadvertently helped to set up Lewis Travis’ equaliser for Blackburn at Ibrox last Sunday and that error was clearly still playing on his mind heading into the Derby fixture.

Rangers stopper Nikola Katic holds his hands up

“It was a really tough game for us and I am happy as I scored for us to win,” he told RangersTV. “We are happy with our performances in pre-season and we will push and keep going.

“I’m happy I have improved from the last game where I made the mistake and we conceded the only goal of pre-season. I was sad because of that, but today I am happier that we kept the clean sheet and if you ask me, I think we should have scored more goals but their goalkeeper was outstanding today and I am really proud of the performance of the boys today.”

The Croatian international gets an earful from his skipper against Blackburn. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Katic is already a hugely popular figure amongst the Ibrox faithful. Bears campaigned at length last season for him to be reinstated to the team after he had fallen out of favour. 

He has his work cut out this season after the signings of Filip Helander and George Edmundson. Yet, going forward, if he can keep popping up with goals at Ibrox and speaking as frankly as this about his own performances, his popularity will only increase further.

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Waggy Loved Being Back

MARTYN WAGHORN made his Ibrox return yesterday, and despite the result, it was an occasion he will look back on fondly.

The striker, who netted 44 goals for Gers in just over two seasons, played 90 minutes in the 1-0 defeat for his Derby side at Ibrox, as Nikola Katic grabbed the only goal of the game.

Speaking to RangersTV, Waghorn said: “It was nice to be back, though it was a bit surreal playing on the opposite side. It was good to see some familiar faces and for us as a team it was a good challenge, and I thought at times we were solid, but a little bit of quality at times caused us some issues.

“Overall, I think it was a close game but it was nice to come up here and face some good opposition.”

The Rams kick-off their Championship season away to Huddersfield Town next Monday, with Waghorn believing them to be in a good place ahead of that.

He continued: “We have had a bit of a different pre-season in terms of traveling and some of the games being called off because of weather conditions, but the training has been intense and has been good.

“The 90 minutes today was important for us going into next Monday and it has got us up to speed where we want to be.

“We have a good manager who can really implement his playing style and his philosophy from his playing and managerial career.

“The way he talks on the training pitch is brilliant – it’s really informative and us as players can only learn from that and benefit from it.

“It’s up to us on a matchday to put that into practice in a real-life situation, and hopefully we can go and start well this season.”

Waghorn was also hugely impressed with Gers and the showing they put up, adding: “The boys are in a great place and it shows with the way they played against us with the difference in the transition between defending and attacking and the speed at which they break.

“It’s good and it comes down to the players who have been brought-in and what the manager has built over the last 12 months.

“There are positive signs and hopefully they can go on and have a positive season.”

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September & October Fixture Changes

RANGERS have had three games picked by BT Sport for September and October – St Johnstone, Hearts and Ross County, which are all away fixtures.

The TV picks mean the date of the Gers trips to McDiarmid Park and Tynecastle change, with both fixtures moving to the Sunday. Rangers will now play St Johnstone on Sunday 22 September with a 12:15 kick-off and then Hearts on Sunday 20 October, again in a 12:15 kick-off.

BT Sport will also broadcast the Light Blues midweek trip to Ross County on Wednesday 30 October but both the date and kick-off time of 19:45 remain the same for the fixture.

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Eleven reasons to smile at Ibrox

We’ve been getting some aggro for being overly negative lately. A lot of our esteemed readers are a little miffed that since the Blackburn draw, our output has been excessively grumpy. And it’s true – up till then we were riding high on the optimistic wave of pre-season, only for that performance and result and the subsequent two after it to douse that good feeling a touch.

So, taking on board the wishes of our audience, Ibrox Noise brings you ‘Reasons to be Positive’ over this pre-season and our prospects for the new campaign.

Ok, we start with the obvious one – in this entire summer, we’ve conceded only a single goal. No matter who the defence has been comprised of or who the opposition has been, or even who’s been in between our sticks, we’ve had an almost entirely exclusive shut out. That is definitely a cause for cheer, and suggests all of our defenders are up to it.

Secondly, George Edmundson. It may only have been Progres, but Ed’s performance at Ibrox was simply outstanding especially for his age. Barely a mistake made, and some excellent fulsome defending and reading of the game. This added superbly to the range passing he’d shown in earlier pre-season and suggested that right now, give or take, he might just be the first choice. Not bad for £650K.

Thirdly has been the hilarious and borderline insulting daylight robbery of Charlton for their star man Joe Aribo. A £10M-£20M player already, Rangers’ scouting department did a number on the Valley men getting this kid for £250K, and his pre-season displays have only got better and better. Bigger tests than a below-par Marseille et al are to come, but his consistency no matter the opponent showed that Aribo is a serious bet for the best signing Steven Gerrard has made. Hopefully he continues this path.

Lack of injury – yes, it’s not something anyone has really talked about but Rangers have come through this pre-season friendly fixture period without a single blow. The only contender has been a shaky moment involving Jermain Defoe v Derby, but by and large the squad is unscathed. That’s always a plus.

Shipping the dead wood. Rangers have managed to shed a lot of unwanted this summer already – Jak Alnwick is gone, Jordan Rossiter followed him, Lee Wallace is now at QPR and Kyle Lafferty was freed. Daniel Candeias was a less obvious piece of dead wood but we never saw him as part of Rangers’ future. So, we’ve managed to get a few bits and bobs off the wage bill.

Midfield power. The options Gerrard has in the middle are arguably the best in the country matched only by Celtic. Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield, Joe Aribo, Steven Davis and Greg Docherty make up six absolute first-XI options. Any three of those could be selected and Rangers are none the weaker for it. That is serious progress.

Jermain Defoe. It actually turns out Defoe is just as good an option as Alfredo Morelos – he might not have Alf’s power and nuisance factor, but he’s a more intelligent runner, a more clinical finisher, and he doesn’t waste much. He’s also nowhere near as selfish in the box. So Rangers have a very viable option over the Colombian, even if a little more quality is still required.

Valuable assets. Whatever sums we’re talking about, the likes of Tavernier, Morelos, Arfield, Kamara and Aribo are worth some serious cash now – whether they’re sold or not, they are lucrative assets and that only boosts the overall value of the club.

Season tickets. Every record under the sun got smashed this early summer as Rangers sold out 45,757 books with 14,000 still on the waiting list. This guaranteed Rangers a huge pot of cash especially in the case of those who pay up front, and a constant stream of income over the season for those on the ticketing scheme.

Ibrox capacity. This one is loosely related to the previous issue – while Rangers have been stuck at 51K for a very long time at Ibrox, we know fine well a 60K stadium would be more than viable, theoretically speaking. Of course, the logistics are beyond a nightmare and with the main stand protected, upgrades would be difficult, but with a 14K waiting list on the STs, Ibrox could be well over 60K and packed out at that.

We also guaranteed more Europa League cash by getting to stage two of the qualifiers. Sure, it’s not a fortune, but each stage nets hundreds of thousands and getting to the group stage confirms almost £3M. So, yet more cash in the coffers – if we get there.

There are a few more, but there are certainly reasons for hope right now. And that’s some of them.

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Jurgen Klopp Lays Down Law On Rangers Target Ryan Kent

 

Jurgen Klopp has ruled out another loan move for Liverpool winger and Rangers target Ryan Kent this summer.

The 22-year-old winger spent last season on loan at Rangers and the Glasgow giants are again keen on taking him back for the 2019/20 campaign as well.  

Steven Gerrard wants the player as part of his Rangers squad for next season, but it seems the only way Kent is going back to Ibrox this summer if they can buy him from Liverpool.

Klopp stressed that Kent needs a club where he can settle down and play football and insisted that another loan move is out of question for him at the moment.
 

“His time is over for loans”, the Liverpool manager was quoted as saying by the BBC after his side’s pre-season defeat by Napoli at Murrayfield.

“At the age, he is now, he needs to find a place where he can settle.

“We will see what happens but a loan is not planned.”
 

The Liverpool boss was impressed with Kent’s development at Rangers and believes the loan move to Ibrox was the right thing for him last summer.

“He came back as a completely different player and it was a very important year for him.

“It helped being with a good manager, at a good club, with good competition, and it was exactly the right thing for him at the right moment.”

Liverpool want £8m in order to sell Kent and it remains to be seen whether Rangers decide to back Gerrard with the funds need to get the deal over the line.   
 

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Pundit insists Gerrard staying at Rangers is good for Scottish Premiership

Alan Brazil has admitted that he’s pleased that Steven Gerrard has remained at Ibrox and insists it is “great” for Scottish football that he’s at Rangers.

Gerrard was linked with a potential exit over the summer but will kick off his second league campaign on Sunday when the Gers travel to face Kilmarnock.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 07: Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard looks on during the pre season friendly match between Rangers and Oxford United at Ibrox Stadium on July 07, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Brazil thinks it would have been a “shame” had Gerrard been lured away and thinks he help improve the profile of Scottish football.

“I’m pleased the Scottish Premiership season will kick off with Steven Gerrard still in charge of Rangers,” Brazil told the Sunday Post.

“That’s not some sort of sarcastic comment coming from someone who grew up supporting the green-and-white side of Glasgow. I think Gerrard’s presence had been great for the profile of Scottish football.

“His arrival at Ibrox caused a lot of excitement, and I know that people from south of the border take a closer interest in the SPFL because of him.

“It would have been a shame if he’d done just the one season in Scotland, and then jumped at the first chance of a job back in England.”

The Gers have undoubtedly enjoyed an increased profile since Gerrard’s arrival and that has trickled down through Scottish football.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 21: Steven Gerrard, manager of Rangers on the side line during the Pre-Season Friendly between Rangers FC and Blackburn Rovers at Ibrox Stadium on July 21, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Liverpool icon has made an impressive start to his management career and would be best served staying in Scotland a while longer.

With Gerrard making no secret of his wish to manage Liverpool in the future, he could serve few better apprenticeships than mastering his craft at Ibrox.

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Journalist

James has written about Scottish football for a number of years, with a particular focus on Rangers, has produced content for the likes of Shoot!, WATP Magazine, the Daily Record, the Scottish FA, Youth Football Scotland and SB Nation’s Got The Battle Fever On. A lifelong Rangers fan, James has been attending games since 1994.

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