Rangers are searching for a striker as they ready themselves for receiving an offer for Alfredo Morelos they can’t refuse.
The Light Blues reacted to speculation of an imminent Crystal Palace move for the Colombian by insisting they had received no bids.
However, with Palace themselves facing predatory interest in Wilfried Zaha – and Morelos having netted 30 goals last season – that is a situation that is likely to change before the close of the window.
It is understood that should an offer surpassing the £19.8-million Celtic got for Moussa Dembele from Lyon be received, Steven Gerrard would be prepared to cash in.
The Rangers manager would then look to use a chunk of the fee to bring in a replacement, with Gerrard’s former Liverpool team-mate, Daniel Sturridge, one striker who has been consistently linked with a move to Ibrox.
Though a free agent, he would nevertheless represent a significant investment due to his high wages.
Morelos’s indiscipline – he received five red cards last season – could be an issue for some would-be buyers.
But former Light Blues striker Mark Hateley has insisted the 23-year-old has the scope to improve.
“Alfredo, whether he stays at Rangers or goes, will get better,” he said.
“The disciplinary side of it let him down last year, but I’d look for that to improve greatly. It is possible to change.
“You just have to find a way to channel the aggression and explosiveness in a different direction.
“I’m the best example I know of that.
“I got sent off in my first home game for Milan, in the Coppa Italia, for head-butting Brescia’s centre-half!
“I was 22, similar to Alfredo, and you do daft things when you’re young – and you live to regret them.
“But the manager we had at the time helped me discover a better way to be.
“Nils Liedholm, who was the centre-forward for Sweden in the 1958 World Cup Final, was a brilliant example for me.
“He took me to one side, explained things to me, and taught me how to play as a European striker.
“But he also taught me how to approach everything.
“He was a typical Swede – laid-back, wise, well-spoken.
“And he was a great tutor, teaching me how not to lash out but to use my energy in protecting the ball more, to focus on denying the opponent.
“And I’ve watched Steven Gerrard with Alfredo. He’s all over him.
“Steven had his own moments as a player and has learned from them.
“He’ll know he can’t take all the fire away.
“But he also knows he has to find a way of channeling it in a way that keeps Morelos on the pitch and also keeps him effective.
“He’ll score goals, whatever club he’s at.
“And that is a problem, that Morelos is in demand and there’s a long way to go until the window closes.
“ Everyone has a number, that’s the way of football these days.
“But the fact there’s still nearly two months to go before the window closes, a lot can happen both ways.”
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