Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed signing another central defender is a priority as he continues to revamp the first team squad at Ibrox, writes Stephen Halliday.
Gerrard has hailed what he describes as the “superb support” of the Rangers board for his summer recruitment drive which has seen him make nine signings so far.
There is firm interest in making Millwall central defender Jake Cooper his 10th addition, with Rangers understood to have made a bid of around £3 million for the 23-year-old.
“I’ve nothing to say on Jake Cooper or any other player who belongs to another club,” said Gerrard. “I won’t add to speculation at all. But I need another centre back.
“It’s difficult to put a number on how many more players we will sign in this window. We are very close to completing what we want but we are not complete just yet. There’s just a few more pieces missing, maybe.
“The board have been superb. They have done exactly what they said they would do when we spoke before I got the job. So yeah, I’m really happy with the support I’ve received.”
Gerrard expressed his delight at his two most recent additions - Roma’s Nigerian striker Umar Sadiq and Mali international midfielder Lassana Coulibaly of French club Angers who have both joined Rangers on season-long loan deals.
“I’m really happy to get them over the line as they will both make the team and squad a lot stronger,” he added.
“Sadiq has been at a top club in Roma so he knows what high standards are about. He’s a unique striker because he is very tall. He works his socks off for the team in and out of possession. He gives us a different type of player in the forward position, he’s full of energy.
“Lassana is a very different midfield player in the destroyer mode who is very powerful, aggressive, who will snap about and win tackles for us and break it up and use the ball intelligently. He’s got good experience in the French League. He’s mixed it with the best in that league and we believe he will be an important player for us.”
Gerrard confirmed that defender Bruno Alves’ contract at Rangers has been terminated by mutual consent as he prepares to join Italian club Parma.
The Rangers boss also explained that former captain Lee Wallace’s absence from the squad for tonight’s Europa League first qualifying round tie against Shkupi at Ibrox is due to injury and unrelated to the player’s ongoing disciplinary dispute with the club.