Gerrard tells Ryan Kent ‘follow your heart’ but wants him at Rangers

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has told Ryan Kent to follow his heart as he weighs up his next move.

Ryan Kent wants to put down roots after moving around Europe on loan. Picture: SNS.

The Liverpool loanee is due to return to Anfield in the summer but Gerrard is desperate to keep the winger at Ibrox.

The 22-year-old double PFA Scotland player and young player of the year nominee declared this week that a second season in Glasgow remains a “possibility”.

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

But he also wants to start putting down firm roots, having found himself being bounced around the UK and Europe during five loan spells in the last four years.

Gerrard knows the decision facing the former England youth international could be the biggest of his young career and his advice was simple: “Go where you will be happy.”

On Kent’s “possibility” comment, the Ibrox boss said: “It’s not as reassuring as seeing his signature on a dotted line but it is a possibility.

“Ryan knows we want him but we have to be respectful that the kid has a big decision to make. I’m sure there are clubs queuing up for him because he’s a top player.

“He has to think, ‘Where am I going to be happy playing football? Who do I want to share a dressing room with? Who’s going to help me enjoy my football?’ Ryan has been accepted in this dressing room, the players love him. Now my advice is, ‘Go where you think you’ll be happy, improve and take your career to the next level. Go find your football happiness because that’s where you’ll find your best form’. We hope that will be Rangers but Ryan has to make the decision for himself and not really listen to what others are saying.”

Gerrard was speaking as he and midfielder Scott Arfield were named the Ladbrokes Premiership’s manager and player of the month for April.

Arfield has been linked with a £3 million move to Crystal Palace, but while Gerrard is determined to keep his top performers, he admits he may not have the final say.

Ahead of facing Hibernian tomorrow, he said: “I don’t want to lose Scott. He’s a player we’re trying to build round. We worked hard to get him in the door in the first place.

“But it works pretty simple, I tell you guys I don’t want him to go, tell him I love him live on air and I want him to stay. But every player has a price and some decisions get taken out of your hands and Scott’s hands. We’ll need to wait and see how it pans out.”

Two players who will be working under Gerrard next term are Jake Hastie and Steven Davis.

Motherwell youngster Hastie will move to Ibrox on a four-year deal this summer while Davis has made his Ibrox return from Southampton permanent by signing a 12-month contract.

“Jake is a very exciting prospect,” said Gerrard, pictured. “He’s got answers in the final third of the pitch and his seven goals in 14 appearances is a hell of a return for a player so young.

“We always had an idea we were going to make Steven’s deal longer than six months. With playing regularly you can see he’s back in top form.

“With a full pre-season under his belt I’m sure he will be ready to help us challenge for major honours next year.”