Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has been linked with a £20million-plus move to Premier League side Aston Villa by Football Insider, while former Gers captain Richard Gough has tipped MLS franchise LA Galaxy to be interested in the Colombian, via quotes by The Scotsman.
Aston Villa are said to be closely monitoring Morelos’ situation at Ibrox, as they could look to target the 23-year-old once the January window opens, having set aside funds dependent on the wishes of manager Dean Smith.
Morelos’ future was up for much debate in the summer as head coach Steven Gerrard looked to retain the Colombian amid widespread interest in his services, including a lucrative offer to join Chinese Super League outfit Hebei China Fortune on a £30million contract (Sky Sports).
The forward rejected the £10m-a-year deal to remain at Ibrox, despite Hebei being willing to meet Rangers’ valuation of the Independiente Medellin product, said to have been in excess of £15m.
Now, he could be set for a move to the West rather than the Far East, as Gough has claimed LA Galaxy’s Technical Director Jovan Kirovski watched Morelos in person on Saturday when he struck his 13th goal of the season across all competitions.
Gough is now an ambassador for the MLS franchise and stated: “Jovan is a friend of mine and I sat next to him at the game on Saturday. He is in Europe to see a number of things at the moment. He was asking me about Alfredo, and I told him he’s just a pure goalscorer.
“Jovan said, ‘Yeah, but he looks a touch heavy’, but I told him just to keep watching and he would definitely score. True enough, he scored with a great finish just a few minutes later.
“Three years ago, no-one was looking at any of our players [in the States]. Now they are, which is good. Jovan is also a friend of Steven Gerrard, who played for LA Galaxy. The MLS has a lot of money, but he’s over checking out a lot of things. He’s off to Germany next.”
Aston Villa could rival Galaxy in any move, though, as Football Insider have claimed the Midlands outfit plan to recruit a striker in January having seen plans to do so in the summer fizzle out.
Morelos is said to be among the Villans’ top targets and funds are available to acquire someone capable of challenging £22m summer arrival Wesley Moraes.
Rangers proved in the summer they have the pulling power to retain Morelos amid widespread interest, and the worldwide intrigue that has remained will see that resolve once again put to the test in January.
The Gers are in a strong position to hold firm in their reluctance to sell with Morelos putting pen to paper on a new contract in March, while the 23-year-old reducing his flared temperament should see the Scottish Premiership hopefuls be able to request a higher transfer fee than the £15m alleged earlier in the year.
Should someone offer a suitable figure, Jermain Defoe’s exploits in the league will offer some comfort, but Rangers will need to spend to maintain any challenge to Celtic.
Will Alfredo Morelos finish the season a Rangers player?
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