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16th Aug 2018

Steven Gerrard willing to trade Rangers fan favourite for Kyle Lafferty

Patrick McCarry

The Northern Irishman scored a cracker against Celtic last weekend

Their season may only be four games deep but Celtic find themselves out of the Champions League, frustrated in the transfer market and mid-table in the Scottish Premiership. Hearing Kyle Lafferty is set to return to Rangers may not brighten Brendan Rodgers’ mood at all.

Lafferty is not the most prolific of forwards but he has made a handy habit, over the years, of finding the net against Celtic. He did so again for Hearts, on Saturday, when he arrived at the edge of the box to clatter in the match-winner at Tyneside.

The forward had already been linked with a switch back to Rangers and his valuation surely jumped after his latest heroics.

Rangers have, so far, brought in 10 players since Steven Gerrard took over as manager but the transfer window remains open until September 1. Alfredo Morelos is the club’s main target-man but Gerrard is reportedly keen to strengthen that department after getting most of his defensive targets.

The Gers’ initial offer for Lafferty was £200,000 and was quickly rejected by Hearts. A straight swap for the 30-year-old and Lee Wallace – a fan favourite and seven-season veteran at Ibrox – was also rejected but Hearts boss Craig Levein is said to be a fan of the player.

It now appears likely that Rangers will have to combine the two offers – £200k and a Wallace swap – to get the Lafferty deal over the line. The Scottish Sun reports that both sides are close to agreeing terms and that Lafferty could be back at his old club by Saturday.

Rangers, meanwhile, have rejected a £3.75m bid for Morelos from French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux. The former Liverpool captain leads his side into the second leg of their Europa League qualifier against Maribor on Thursday evening. The Scots are 3-1 up from the first leg at Ibrox.