New Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson insists the Ibrox club do not have to sell prize assets like Alfredo Morelos come January.
Boss Steven Gerrard has already declared he is “100 per cent sure” his Colombian ace will be going nowhere.
But with the Light Blues facing a £10million funding gap this season, having already announced annual losses of £11.3million, there have been calls for the club to cash in on their £20million-rated striker.
▪️ Gers win at the Tony Macaroni ?
▪️ Aribo & Morelos on target ?
▪️ Gers sit 2nd, Livingston in 7th ?
— SPFL (@spfl) November 11, 2019
Morelos scored his 22nd goal of the campaign during Sunday’s win at Livingston and has been repeatedly linked with moves away, with Crystal Palace and Aston Villa said to be monitoring his form.
However, Wilson is confident Gers can stave off their interest.
Asked if he could state that the club did not have to cash in on its biggest assets, Wilson replied: “Categorically.
“We want our best players to stay here as long as they possibly can.
“We understand that like every other club in world football that there comes a point when players have to move on to something else for a variety of reasons.
“We’ll be no different to that but it’s certainly not on the horizon in January.
“I was speaking to Steven about (Morelos) at the weekend. He’s been well quoted on this already.
“The first-team has a number of players who could be really interesting for a number of clubs because the club is in a significantly better position than it was before and a lot of that is down to the recruitment and the work Steven and the coaching staff have done with the players.
“And keeping our best players here for as long as possible is important.”
Wilson’s new role will see him lead a number of departments at the club’s Hummel Training Centre, including the scouting system and youth academy.
But while the former Falkirk, Huddersfield, Watford and Southampton employee confirmed he will not be the man searching for fresh talent, he assured the Ibrox faithful that the hunt for a replacement for Morelos for when he does eventually depart is already well underway.
“The important thing for me is that I’m not the chief scout or head of recruitment,” he said. “We’ve got a strong recruitment department headed by Andy Scoulding who I’ve spent a lot of time with since I came here.
“But between all of us – our scouts, Steven, myself, Steven’s staff – we’re all going to pull our heads and our contacts together and make sure in every position we have a strong plan.
“I had a meeting with the scouting guys this morning and we talked about the fact it doesn’t matter what position we’re talking about, we have to be ready all the time.
“That doesn’t mean we always will be ready because sometimes things can catch you off guard.
“But Andy and the rest of the guys are working on making sure we have a strong scouting plan that can take us across the next three or four transfer windows.”
? The manager spoke about Ross Wilson at today's press conference after he was appointed as Sporting Director. pic.twitter.com/oQSd4EPnxm
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 18, 2019
Wilson was appointed last month to replace outgoing director of football Mark Allen.
The 36-year-old was initially approached about taking on the role before Allen was hired but turned down the chance to return to Scotland.
However, he insists much has changed in the two years since knocking back Gers’ first attempt to secure his services.
He said: “I think it’s important to say that when I was approached two years ago I was two-and-a-half years into my time at Southampton.
“Anyone who’s worked with me will understand one of my qualities is loyalty.
“As attractive as this was at the time there was uncertainty here and the job I had wasn’t finished yet.
“But I think Steven has done a wonderful job so far. He’s someone I’m excited to work with to continue on that journey here. The club feels in a really strong position.”