Nice ‘disrespectful’ with £8m Alfredo Morelos bid, says Rangers boss

Steven Gerrard says he is aware that Nice are preparing an £8 million bid for Alfredo Morelos but has branded it “disrespectful”, suggesting that the £19.7m Celtic received from Lyon for Moussa Dembele would be a more accurate price for a player he has no intention of losing in the last week of the transfer window.

Alfedo Morelos with, left, Gary McAllister and Steven Gerrard. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

The 22-year-old Rangers striker is the top scorer in Scotland’s top flight with 20 goals this season. Gerrard, the Ibrox manager, admitted that “every one of our players has a price” but insisted that the Colombian’s fine form must be reflected in any bid if there is to be a danger of the trigger fee for Morelos being reached.

“We don’t want to sell,” said Gerrard. “The board don’t won’t to sell. But we totally respect Alfredo and his situation. I’ve been made aware that they [Nice] are preparing an £8m bid but they are wasting their time. It’s nowhere near enough and the player isn’t for sale.

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“Every single player has a price at this football club. I’m not naïve enough to be sitting here saying that none of them are for sale, ever. But there’s respect that I think Rangers deserve, there’s respect the player deserves and myself. Whoever it is who’s preparing an £8m bid for Alfredo is disrespecting Alfredo first and foremost.

“He’s the top scorer in the league and there have been players who have gone for double that amount that don’t score as many goals as him. So I think it’s very disrespectful first and foremost to Alfredo, to the club and me third.

“The board will have the final say [on any potential Morelos sale]. They will probably ask me and I’ll say either yes or no in my opinion. But the board own the club. Dave King owns it so he’ll have the final say.”

Morelos appeared to lose his focus last season after Rangers were reported to have turned down an £8m offer from China for the striker in the 2018 January window. Now with Jermaine Defoe and Kyle Lafferty as frontline options, Gerrard says he won’t allow the temperamental performer to take out any frustrations over his future on the pitch.

“It’s not a concern because I’ll play players that are settled,” he said. “I’ll only start players who are focused on the job we’ve got to do. All the players are paid extremely well to be professional and respect the club. If I witness any player who gets unsettled by outside noise I’ll take them out.”

Gerrard takes his team to Kilmarnock tonight for their first league game since the derby win over Celtic three weeks ago.