RANGERS boss Steven Gerrard is ready to reward Alfredo Morelos with a bumper new deal after warning Bordeaux not to bother making a fresh bid for the Colombian.
The Ibrox side claimed the 0-0 draw in Maribor to book a slot in the Europa League play-offs – but Gerrard’s preparations were disrupted on the eve of the clash in Slovenia when he received a £3.75million bid for his striker from the Ligue 1 outfit.
The “derisory” offer was immediately rejected but reports in France say Bordeaux chiefs are set to make a second attempt.
The French big-guns are on the lookout for fresh firepower after sanctioning the £4.5million sale of striker Gaetan Laborde to Montpellier on Thursday, having also recently sold winger Malcom to Barcelona for £36.5million.
But Gerrard insists he will fight all attempts to sell last season’s top scorer.
He said: “It’s the right decision to reject it, it’s nowhere near high enough. It’s a player we don’t want to sell and have no ambitions too.
“Teams can’t think they can knock at our door and pinch our best players for derisory bids. It’s not going to happen.
“For me, I want him to stay. I want him to sign a new deal on improved terms and help the rest of us be successful moving forward.
“I’m wise enough to know that every single player on the planet has a price – but the message to Bordeaux is we don’t want to sell.
“If they want the player then they need to show some respect and come blow us out the water with a massive, massive bid. Otherwise, don’t pick the phone up.”
Gers had goalkeeper Allan McGregor to thank as they held their nerve in the Ljudski Stadion, with the 36-year-old denying Maribor’s Marcos Tavares from the penalty spot in stoppage time having earlier made a stunning point-blank-range block to stop the Brazilian.
Gerrard – whose side now take on Russian side Ufa after they gunned down the Ibrox men’s old foes Progres Niederkorn – said: “When you go away to tough places and the team is suffering, you need someone to bail you out from time to time.
“The save he made before the penalty was world class. The penalty save was world class and I think his all-round performance was too.
“We’re lucky to have him. It’s a shame he’s nearly as old as me because Rangers fans love him and I love him. We wish he was 10 years younger.”