The veteran forward had assumed a role as player-coach in the summer after agreeing a new contract but, despite a substitute appearance against Livingston, was not in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s plans, either in the backroom or on the pitch.
The 39-year-old has now departed, with sporting director Ross Wilson paying tribute to the striker’s ability “even in the twilight years of his career”.
Defoe arrived at Ibrox in 2019, initially on loan from Bournemouth but found the net 32 times despite limited first-team opportunities – including a classy finish for his 300th career goal against Livingston in October 2020.
He played a total of 74 games – 41 from the bench, including his final appearance which coincidentally came against the same opposition late last year.
A club statement read: “The fantastic ovation he received from the Rangers support at Almondvale as he entered the action that afternoon was testament to the high regard he is held in by the fans.”
Sporting Director, Ross Wilson added: “Jermain made a significant contribution to Rangers over the last number of seasons.
“Even in the ‘twilight years’ of his career, he has shown the expert movement and finishing ability that took him to the very top in his career. His contribution within the training centre was excellent. He became a role model for his peers, showing professionalism on a daily basis.
“I was particularly pleased that he leaves with a league championship medal. It has been a privilege to have an England international of his quality within our group and we wish him well for the future.”