Former Rangers manager Graeme Souness believes big English clubs won’t be interested in Alfredo Morelos because of his poor disciplinary record.
The Colombian’s talent and goalscoring record has seen the Ibrox club slap a £20 million price tag on his head. However, the 22-year-old has been sent off five times this season, albeit one red card was rescinded, and Souness claims that has given him a reputation which means prospective suitors in England will now be looking elsewhere.
Morelos, who has 29 goals this season, collected his latest red for lashing out at Scott Brown in Rangers’ 2-1 defeat by Celtic at Parkhead in March.
Souness said: “The last Old Firm game? He got mugged off. The big clubs in England won’t be looking at him. Elsewhere? Maybe; it’s how they [English] see the Scottish game, unfortunately.
“Virgil van Dijk got a big move after leaving Celtic and he was a centre-half.
“The hardest thing to do in football is score goals. Yes, you might get someone in the Championship taking a chance on [Morelos] but I can’t see the Liverpools and Manchester Citys and Manchester Uniteds being interested in him.
“I wouldn’t know [about his valuation] but I’d very much doubt big teams would be interested. Maybe lower end of the Premier League but they would [also] question his discipline.”
Souness himself knows better than most how the highly-charged atmosphere at Rangers’ games can lead to players losing the plot.
In his first match as player/manager of the Ibrox side in 1986, he was ordered off during a 2-1 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road.
That wasn’t to be the last time the combative midfielder saw red before he hung up his boots, but Souness believes Morelos is in danger of wrecking his career prospects unless he can control his temper and claimed he was “reaching the point of no return with the things he gets sent off for”.
“He’s a player, a real player, but he needs to get that out of his game. He’s somehow got to keep that fire, but control it.”
Former Liverpool manager Souness is also concerned by the temperament of some other current Rangers players, including goalkeeper Allan McGregor, sent off against Hibs on Saturday for a bizarre kick at Easter Road striker Marc McNulty.
“It’s ill-discipline and that’s not acceptable,” Souness added. “How old is Allan McGregor – 36, 37? He should have worked that out by now.”
Rangers host Celtic on Sunday in the final Old Firm game of the season. As well as Morelos, the previous game saw Andy Halliday and Ryan Kent suspended after incidents involving Brown.
Souness said: “That was an old senior pro playing the game. Did he get the reactions he was after? He certainly did.
“You go through life, not just football, and you have to learn from your mistakes – and that was a mistake [by the Rangers players].”
• Graeme Souness was speaking at The Kris Boyd Charity Golf Day at Trump Turnberry. The Boyd Charity raises funds and awareness for Mental Health.’