Rangers transfers: Michael Beale reveals centre forwards will arrive and speaks on Antonio Colak's future

Such has been the capriciousness of his on-field behaviour it feels like something of an oxymoron to describe Alfredo Morelos as a steady and dependable presence for Rangers. And yet, for the past six years at Ibrox, subsequent managers would start the season knowing that the Colombian was there to lead the line and that, more often than not, would go on to grab more than his fair share of goals. He has always been reliable in a strangely unreliable sort of way.
Alfredo Morelos will depart Rangers at the end of the season, but Antonio Colak's future is less clear.Alfredo Morelos will depart Rangers at the end of the season, but Antonio Colak's future is less clear.
Alfredo Morelos will depart Rangers at the end of the season, but Antonio Colak's future is less clear.

Morelos, though, will soon be heading out of Scottish football and Rangers will look to others to serve at the apex of their attack. Michael Beale has sent his shopping list to new CEO James Bisgrove and the board of directors and on it are centre forwards, plural. Like any manager what he ends up getting will come down to budget, availability and other considerations but Beale knows what he wants from a No 9 for the challenges ahead.

“We will be looking for more than a centre forward, we are looking for centre forwards,” he explained. “When we play in Europe or big games then every player must take part in every minute of the game. I like forwards not to be one position but interchange and move around and have a lot of freedom. We want energy, speed, and personality. If you want to be a No 9 here you need to have that. At both ends of the pitch we probably need a bit of experience at this moment. This isn’t the moment to go with rookies at both ends of the park.”

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That desire to have strikers who can run channels and drop deep would seem to spell the end for Antonio Colak, a predatory sniffer who tends to break out in hives whenever he leaves the penalty box. Beale, though, is not closing the door just yet. “For Antonio’s first season at Rangers, in terms of starts, his goal return is fantastic,” he added. “The reality is since November he has had an on-off time with injuries. When I came in he came back and played a few games, scored two goals against Hibs and was fantastic.

“He played up front with Fashion Sakala and that night was as good as we have played under me. So I have no issue with Antonio’s style. He’s just not had an opportunity to get a run of games. Moving forward there will be competition coming into the squad and Antonio will fight it out with those guys. His goalscoring record gives me optimism. If he has a good pre-season then I will get the Antonio Colak we had in August and September. Does he have a future here? Yes. But he will have to take on the challenge like everyone else. I want to drive competition in the squad and he won’t shy away from it. He backs himself.”

Kemar Roofe is another who has been no stranger to the physio’s bench but again Beale was not ruling him out of his future plans. “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if Kemar can get over the issues he has and be a big player for us next season?" Beale added. “If he can find that consistency with his fitness then we will have a really good player.”

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