Former Rangers defender Alan Hutton thinks that the club will succeed in their attempts to secure a permanent deal for on-loan striker Jermain Defoe.
Football Insider reported this week that the ‘Gers have begun negotiations with the 37-year-old about the possibility of agreeing a permanent transfer in January, with manager Steven Gerrard keen to tie him down prior to the expiry of his loan deal from Bournemouth at the end of this season.
According to Football Insider, Defoe is prepared to take a reduction on his current £100,000-a-week wage with the Cherries in order to pave the way for a one-year permanent deal which would keep him at Ibrox until 2021.
Hutton believes that the veteran striker’s willingness to take a pay cut so that he can seal a deal with Rangers shows how much he wants to stay at the club and he thinks such a move would be a “great coup” for the Glasgow side.
He told Football Insider: “There’s going to have to be a massive drop on his part, and that pretty much tells you where he is at, that he must love the club, must love life under Gerrard.
“He looks happy and he’s the type of lad, I know him quite well, he just loves playing and every time he has come into the team, he has taken his chances and scored goals.
“He seems to have found a home there, he was very much in-and-out at Bournemouth, I can’t really see him going back there and regularly playing given how strong they are up top.
“So, I think this is a good fit, yes it’s complicated with the wage structure at Rangers due to the wages he is on, but if they can come to some sort of deal then everyone would be happy. The fans, Gerrard, the player so it would be a great coup for them to sign someone like that.”
Considering the vast improvement in Defoe’s form since he left Bournemouth to join Rangers on loan at the start of this year, Hutton’s comments about him ‘finding a home’ at Ibrox make plenty of sense.
The striker managed just four goals in 34 games for the Cherries (0.12 per game) before moving to Ibrox, where he has found the net 21 times in 44 appearances for an average of 0.48 per game, a fourfold increase on his scoring ratio at the Vitality Stadium.
Defoe’s scoring return for Rangers looks all the more impressive given that he is not a regular starter under Gerrard. Of his 44 ‘Gers appearances, 23 have been as a substitute, while his 21-goal tally has come in 2,042 minutes of game-time, an average of one goal every 97.23 minutes. That would support Hutton’s view that he has made the most of the chances he has been given.
It also makes his comments about him being “a great coup” for Rangers stand up – the 37-year-old is their second-highest scorer this season behind Alfredo Morelos and has more than twice as many goals (13) as their next most prolific scorers Joe Aribo, Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Jack (five each). [via TransferMarkt]
Defoe’s move to Ibrox has worked out brilliantly not just for the ‘Gers but also for himself, given his struggles at Bournemouth, and Hutton’s prediction that he will sign for Rangers permanently off the back of his improvement in Scotland seems very plausible.
Rangers fans, do you agree with Hutton’s belief that Defoe will sign permanently? Let us know what you think by commenting below!
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