Rangers boss Steven Gerrard admits he is still on the hunt for extra cover at the back after confirming Bruno Alves is on his way out of Ibrox.
The Portugal international has agreed to cancel the final 12 months of his Gers deal after clinching a move to Italian outfit Parma.
That leaves new signings Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic as the front-runners to start when the Light Blues kick-off their Europa League campaign at home to FK Shkupi on Thursday night.
But while the former Liverpool and England captain refused to discuss a reported £3 million bid for Millwall’s Jake Cooper, he did admit strengthening the centre of his defence is his number one priority.
“Bruno’s contract is being terminated mutually,” said Gerrard. “That’s happening today I believe so both parties are really happy and we both move on. He’s about to be unveiled at Parma and we wish him all the best.
“Yes, there are areas I’d still like to improve - central defender. With Bruno leaving we need extra cover there.”
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Gers’ official squad list for the first qualifying round was released by UEFA on Tuesday with former skipper Lee Wallace a notable omission.
But Gerrard insists that has nothing to do with his a disciplinary dispute stemming from last season’s dressing-room bust-up with former boss Graeme Murty.
“It’s because he is injured and because we have the luxury of changing the squad from game to game,” he explained.
“There has been a lot of media stuff written this morning about Lee but we are fine. Lee has got an issue with the club and he’s injured at the moment. That hasn’t changed since the last time I spoke to the media.”
The Ibrox boss admits new signings Umar Sadiq and Lassana Coulibaly might miss Thursday’s clash with the Macedonians as they await international clearance, while also revealing injured midfielders Graham Dorrans and Jordan Rossiter are nearing returns to fitness.