Durrant: Rangers must retain Morelos to win trophies

Rangers host Celtic in the Old Firm derby on Sunday.

By Press Association Published: 26 August 2019 - 1.58pm

UK

Football

Scotland

Rangers cannot afford to sell Alfredo Morelos if they want to win silverware this season, according to former Ibrox midfielder Ian Durrant.

Manager Steven Gerrard last week predicted a bid would land for one of his players during the last seven days of the transfer window.

Reports in France later claimed Rangers were interested in Amiens forward Moussa Konate, fuelling speculation they were lining up a potential replacement for Morelos.

The Colombia international has scored nine goals already this season after hitting 30 last term.

Rangers have entered a huge week in their season on the park with their Europa League decider against Legia Warsaw followed by the visit of Celtic on Sunday.

But Durrant believes keeping hold of Morelos over the coming days is also crucial.

“It’s everything,” the former Rangers assistant manager said. “For both sides of the Old Firm, and if you look at Aberdeen with (Scott) McKenna, it’s important that any team keeps their best players.

“Rangers are going for everything this year now. They are in a good place in Europe, second behind Celtic on goal difference, and Gary McAllister was saying they have a squad to compete on all fronts.

“If you are going to win things, if you are going to win leagues and cups and have a good run in Europe, you need to keep your best players. Morelos is a key factor in that.

“The manager was saying there might be a bid coming in for (James) Tavernier or Morelos so he will be wanting to fend that off and keep the strongest squad squad as he can.

“Hopefully it will be quiet and Rangers can keep him, because if Rangers want to win things, they will need Alfredo Morelos this year.”

Despite taking his tally to 57 goals in just over two years with Rangers, Morelos has never found the net against Celtic in nine derby matches, and was sent off on his last start against the champions.

But Durrant said: “It will come. He’s a class player and I’m sure he will get the opportunity.

“He has had a few chances over recent times but, knowing him and knowing his personality, it’s not something that will worry him. If he has the proper ammunition, I’m sure Morelos will score.”

Celtic and Rangers both sit on nine points after three Ladbrokes Premiership games and Durrant believes Sunday’s meeting could be a key match in the season.

“It’s everything, you are playing against your fiercest rivals,” he said.

“If Rangers want to win the league, they will have to beat Celtic. You have the opportunity after four games.

“You can talk all you want but you have got to win these games if you want to win the league.”

:: Durrant was backing fundraising work to build a new pavilion at Hillwood Park in Priesthill, Glasgow. Hillwood Football Club founder and Hillwood Community Trust chair Willie Smith said: “If anyone is interested in helping us complete this project that will also help children from the local area I would encourage them to email hillwood1966@hotmail.co.uk or contact me directly on 07817 505 915.”