Steven Gerrard expects interest in some of his players during the summer transfer window, but insists the Rangers need to focus on strengthening for the challenges ahead.
Rangers secured their 55th elite Scottish title in March after an impressive Premiership campaign and reached the knockout stages of the Europa League for the second season in a row.
As a result, Ryan Kent, Borna Barisic, Glen Kamara and Ianis Hagi have been linked with moves at various times throughout the season, while recent newspaper reports suggest the Rangers want to make their own deals for Fashion Sakala and Joey Veerman.
Ahead of the last Old Firm clash of the season on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, Gerrard insisted that recruiting plans are constantly underway as the club aim to play in the last Champions League group stages. next season, but admitted he could lose some of his stars if the price is right.
“It never ends here. I think some people on the outside think it’s just about training and game plans and getting into the games,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.
“We work endless hours, even when you’re at home, you’re on the phone, watching the players, watching the teams. You’re constantly trying to get ahead of the curve when it comes to recruiting.
“To be fair to Ross [Wilson, Rangers’ sporting director] and the advice we engage in on a regular basis – how we can strengthen, how we can move forward. From my point of view, I think this is important. After long and difficult seasons you come to this point where the players and the staff themselves, you have to add freshness, it re-energizes people, it motivates you again for the next challenges to come.
“At a club like this, I don’t think it’s a secret that we will draw attention to our own players. From a selfish point of view, I don’t want any of my good players go but the reality is if the right number lands then that decision could be made out of my hands. I might not like it back then but that’s where we are as a club . “
He added: “In terms of the Champions League, what an opportunity. I see it as something very motivating and exciting. But to have a better chance of getting it back for everyone connected at the club, it is important that we keep going. to strengthen you as well. “
Rangers have the opportunity to return to the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2010/11 season if they can negotiate a third qualifying round and then a draw in August.
And Gerrard knows that the chance to play against the best in Europe could be a useful factor in trying to get new signings.
“This club sells, they are Rangers, they are a huge club, a historic club, very successful. Everyone knows the size,” he said.
“But if you can offer things like European football and the chance to qualify for the Champions League, then that’s extra motivation that you can have up your sleeve from a manager’s point of view, it’s sure.”
Kent ‘only focus on Rangers’
Ryan Kent says he is fully focused on Rangers, but acknowledges that it is “nice” to be linked with other clubs.
Rangers rejected an offer from Leeds United for the winger last summer, with Gerrard saying at the time that Leeds’ offer was “far from” the club’s valuation of the player.
Kent has been a standout performer at home and in Europe this season which has led to more speculation about his future but, while he appreciates the interest, he insists he is totally focused on the Ibrox side.
“It’s good to be linked with other football clubs, other big clubs, but you have to understand your duty to know where you are at,” he told Sky Sports.
“As long as I’m at Rangers, I will always give 100% to the football club. I love this place it has done so much for me so as long as I’m here my mind is only focused on the Rangers. . “