Alfredo Morelos transfer circus must end now if Rangers are to end Celtic rule – Barry Ferguson – Barry Ferguson


Make up your own mind that it’s time for the Rangers and Alfredo Morelos.The debate over the future of the Colombian striker must end now – for the sake of the club and the player.

The Rangers have a title up for grabs and their players, management and staff need to focus only on performance on the pitch.

Let’s not forget Alfredo in all of this either. The speculation has gone on for too long and he must also rediscover the form which has seen his value soar to £ 20million.

To do this, he must have an honest discussion with himself. Does he want to stay or does he want to leave?

This situation cannot be authorized until the transfer window closes in October. It’s a distraction the Rangers – and the player – no longer need.

The proof of the damage that is currently being done was there for all to see as Rangers lost 1-0 to an excellent side Bayer Leverkusen in the BayArena on Thursday night.

Bayer have been great and the strength of the Bundesliga is underlined by the fact that they haven’t even finished in the Champions League in their own domestic competition.

Don’t take anything away from the Rangers either. Bayer may have been too much of a challenge, but Steven Gerrard’s side have performed admirably throughout the competition.

However, Morelos’ spirit seemed to be everywhere except for the second leg. It wasn’t that Alfredo Rangers fans have come to know and love.

At his best, before even talking about his goals, he’s playing on the edge, falling back on defenders, fouling in dangerous areas, holding the ball and connecting the midfield and attacking.

It seemed like the constant phone calls with agents and questions of will from fans, family and friends had finally taken their toll.

Signings from Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten this week suggest the handwriting is on the wall for Alfredo.

It will be interesting to see if he starts or plays against St Mirren. It’s a decision, I guess, that Steven Gerrard will make after discussions and close monitoring of the player over the next 24 hours.

With his hands up, I would love to see him stay at Ibrox and I firmly believe the Rangers will only sell if their valuation is met, even after spending a lot of money on Roofe and Itten.

But Alfredo must make the decision now, as he and his teammates deserve a fully focused player for a season that promises to be bigger than most in recent history.

Gerrard needs men who are ready to go to war and who are not riddled with doubt and indecision about their own future.

If the pressure is on it looks to me like Morelos will go and his departure would definitely be softened by the two players Gerrard brought in to boost his squad.

As a Marcelo Bielsa fan my attention has been
naturally drawn to Leeds in recent years to study the form and style of the Argentina team.

Roofe was a player who always jumped for me.

He’s good on the ball but can get behind defenses. He has a sense of purpose and played an important role in the Leeds side who almost got a promotion before moving to Anderlecht.

Swiss Itten is a different type. He’s strong and pungent, with a decent record for club and country. At 6-3, that suggests the manager might be looking to change his team’s style every now and then.

Let’s not forget that Jermain Defoe will also be in good shape shortly and, like me, Rangers fans will be more comfortable than ever if Morelos leaves the club.

But Gerrard has long talked about his desire for deep strength in all positions.

The top teams don’t win anything without competing for places and the speed at which the Rangers have moved to bring in their two new boys is a reminder that they know exactly how important the months ahead will be.

I don’t believe the arrival of Itten and Roofe automatically suggests that the Rangers are ready to push Morelos forward.

They have always been adamant the deal must be fair, but speculation cannot go on and on. It seems, at times, that Steven has done nothing in the past two years but field questions about Morelos, his future, his temper and his discipline.

However, he knows the score. Scottish football is, in many ways, a development league.

I don’t think the headlines surrounding Morelos will force the manager’s hand, but he will be aware of the need for his team to focus solely on football.

Alfredo, for his part, cannot be selfish about this. He has to be fair to everyone and then everything can work out and pass – whether it’s with the still-motivated player on the squad or delivering goals for another club elsewhere.


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