‘There hasn’t been a solid bid for any of our players so far’: Steven Gerrard plays down rumours Southampton want Rangers captain James Tavernier
- Striker Alfredo Morelos has been attracting interest from French side Nice
- Southampton were rumoured to be tracking Rangers skipper James Tavernier
- Nobody has yet come up with a bid that will persuade Ibrox chiefs to let either go
Steven Gerrard is confident Rangers can see out January without having to fend off offers for star men Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier.
Morelos – who struck his 21st goal of the season in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Livingston – has been attracting interest from French side Nice, while Southampton were rumoured to be tracking skipper Tavernier.
But nobody has yet come up with the kind of bid that will persuade Ibrox chiefs to let either go before Thursday’s midnight signing deadline, according to Gerrard.
Steven Gerrard is confident Rangers can see out January without having to sell star men
When the topic of Southampton looking for a right-back was raised, the Rangers boss interjected: ‘They’re not. We made a call on it this morning and they’re not.
‘I think there will be talk of Tav and talk of Alfredo but the reality is there hasn’t been a solid bid for any of our players so far.
‘Will one come? Possibly, I’m not sure. I’ll have to answer the question when it does. There hasn’t been a respectable bid for any of the players where we stand right now.’
Gerrard had demanded a reaction from his side after Wednesday’s damaging Rugby Park defeat to Kilmarnock.
And he got it as his side dominated Livi at the Tony Macaroni Arena to climb back above Steve Clarke’s Killie side into second.
Alfredo Morelos struck his 21st goal of the season in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Livingston
The former Liverpool captain left his marquee January signings Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis on the bench as he ditched the midfield diamond that failed to sparkle in Ayrshire.
Returning to the 4-3-3 system that had served him well in the first half of the campaign, Gerrard’s team looked far more comfortable and took a deserved lead when former Gers youth keeper Liam Kelly allowed a Ryan Jack strike to spill over the line.
Ryan Kent fired in the second just after half-time, while Morelos’ latest goal sparked a mini pitch invasion as the jubilant Gers faithful celebrated trimming Celtic’s lead at the top of the table back to three points.
But Gerrard rejected the suggestion the change in shape was the reason for his side’s victory.
He said: ‘We thoroughly deserved our win. We matched Livingston in the battle early on then our quality came through.
Steven Gerrard dismissed rumours Southampton were tracking skipper James Tavernier
‘If you’re comparing it with Kilmarnock, we beat ourselves on Wednesday night. It was nothing to do with tactics or formation – it was to do with a defender gifting Kilmarnock a lead, then a square pass and getting done on a counter attack. Nothing to do with personnel, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.
‘We showed today that if we don’t gift people goals, defend properly, do our jobs and stick to a game plan we can win the game because we have more quality than Livingston.’
Livi boss Gary Holt – whose side missed the chance to leapfrog Hibs into eighth – admitted he felt for Kelly after his first-half calamity, saying: ‘I’m not being harsh on anyone, we all mistakes – me included. It’s not a case of pointing fingers.
‘Liam knows he made a mistake but you have to take it on the chin and move on. Goalkeeper is not a position I’d ever want to play because you make a mistake and it costs a goal.
‘Rangers did to us what we tried to do to them and we didn’t do it well enough. They were wanted to put right what went wrong for them on Wednesday but we gave them a foothold in the game.’
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