Bruno Alves has admitted he will have to consider his future at Rangers if he does not become a regular starter in the remaining matches of the year.
The Portuguese centre-back has started only once in six games since the sacking of countryman Pedro Caixinha – who signed the Euro 2016 winner.
A combination of injury and caretaker Graeme Murty’s early preference for pairing Danny Wilson and Ross McCrorie in central defence has limited Alves’ first-team exposure. But the former Porto man is desperate to play in the World Cup finals in Russia next summer and sees the coming month as crucial to his short-term plans.
“I am an ambitious person,” he said. “I like to play. I respect everybody. I don’t want to be a problem to anybody, I want to be a solution. If I don’t have the space or I don’t play so much then of course I need to think about [what happens in January].”
Alves, 36, knows the World Cup is likely to be his last major tournament.
“I am still playing for the national team,” he said. “We have a World Cup soon and I need to play and be fit, to try to be there. This is important for me. Not just to help Rangers, but I also want to help myself to go to the World Cup.”