Mark Allen has admitted that Alfredo Morelos leaving Rangers is inevitable, but insisted the Colombian striker would be going nowhere during the January transfer window.
The Ibrox director of football is aware that the 22-year-old is on many clubs’ radars after an impressive 18 months with the Light Blues following his move from HJK Helsinki.
But Allen insists that, despite the forward’s desire to one day ply his trade in the English Premier League, he’ll stick around to help the Gers challenge for the Scottish Premiership title.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Allen said: “Will we be able to hold onto [Morelos]? Yes. Ultimately, Alfredo will probably want to play at a different level.
“Our job is to hold onto him for as long as we can. There is no intent to let him go just now - we’ll see where the future takes him.”
The Rangers chief reckons the arrival of Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe on an 18-month loan deal will help Morelos progress in his career.
“He’s got a master there in terms of goalscoring for sure,” Allen said. “Like we say, all the players we’re adding in, we think will add to the overall experience and the quality in the football team moving forward.”
Morelos has netted 20 times this season, but has also received 13 yellow cards and three reds - although one was rescinded on appeal - leading to questions being asked about his discipline.
However, Allen backed the striker and praised his “remarkable character”, adding: “I think he gets a lot of good and a lot of bad press as well.
“The stick he takes sometimes on the park... he just picks himself up and gets on with it.”