Highlights - Arsenal 0-0 Villarreal (Agg 2-1)May 6
Gerrard: Kent situation unchanged regardless of potential Europa League windfall
Rangers have been drawn against Porto, Young Boys and Feyenoord in the Europa League group stage.
Steven Gerrard admits Rangers’ £10million Europa League windfall will not trigger a renewed swoop for Ryan Kent – but he has pulled the shutters down on any clubs looking to snatch away his top stars.
The Ibrox side are set to cash in after landing a plum group stage draw with Portuguese giants Porto, Swiss champions Young Boys and Feyenoord of Holland.
Hopeful fans were keeping their fingers crossed that would mean Gerrard could make a fresh bid for Liverpool winger Kent – who walked off with Scotland’s young player of the year prize following an influential loan stint last season.
But the former Anfield skipper had bad news for them as he confessed nothing has altered his old club’s stance that the £7million-rated winger move on a permanent deal or not at all.
“Nothing has changed on the Ryan Kent situation,” said Gerrard.
“Again we’d love to have him here but Liverpool’s stance hasn’t changed. So we move on and move forward.
“Unless we were to get a phone call on that one it’s as it was.
“But everyone knows what we think of Ryan and how much we’d love to have him here.”
Gerrard also confessed he is unlikely to see much of the money generated by their European progress, because the Ibrox board invested early to give his side the best shot of fighting through four qualifying rounds for the second year in succession.
“We did a lot of business in the summer,” he said. “Just because we qualified doesn’t mean the board are at the front door with a bag full of money for me.
“Sometimes you have to realise that they gave us the support before last night to try to put us in the position to try to qualify.
“It doesn’t mean we go knock on the door for more.”
Top scorer Alfredo Morelos and skipper James Tavernier have both been the subject of transfer rumours over the summer.
But Gerrard says the only players who will be allowed to leave before Tuesday’s transfer deadline are Jake Hastie – who is set for a loan switch to Rotherham – Jason Holt, Graham Dorrans, Joe Dodoo and Eros Grezda.
The Light Blues boss said: “None of my (top) players will be going out the door. It’s too late.
“We gave everyone world wide enough notice and told them all our players have a price.
“But we also made it pretty clear that nothing would be happening in the last week of the window.
“I was clear and fair on that.
“The reason is because the replacements that we work on behind the scenes just in case, I think it would be virtually impossible to get them out the door of their clubs this late.
“We’d leave ourselves in a really vulnerable position if we were to let one of our best players go now.”
Rangers booked their group stage spot with Thursday night’s last-gasp win over Legia Warsaw – but Gerrard expects his team to face tougher challenges ahead.
He said: “It’s a fantastic draw. There’s some really tasty games in there and some nice countries to visit.
“But we’re not in that group to make up the numbers. We want to give a good account of ourselves. We want to do our fans proud and surprise a few.
“On paper it certainly looks difficult. But football doesn’t always go to script. Football is there to shock people and that’s what we’ll try to do.”