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Alfredo Morelos: Rangers striker agrees to join Lille

Lille in the market for a striker this summer to replace star forward Victor Osimhen; Steven Gerrard has called on Rangers' hierarchy to back him in the transfer market

Alfredo Morelos during Rangers' friendly against Coventry
Image: Alfredo Morelos is wanted by Ligue 1 side Lille

Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos has agreed personal terms with Ligue 1 side Lille and the two clubs are now negotiating a fee for the Colombia international.

Lille are in the market for a striker this summer to replace their star forward Victor Osimhen, who is expected to leave the French club this summer, with Napoli reportedly close to signing him.

Earlier this month, Lille had a £23m bid for Canada striker Jonathan David rejected by Gent. The French club have now switched their focus to Morelos, who has established himself as a key player for Rangers since joining from HJK Helsinki in 2017, scoring 44 goals in 91 Scottish Premiership appearances for the club.

Last year Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson reportedly told the Oceania Rangers Supporters Association (ORSA) convention in New Zealand that the club rated Morelos at at least the same value as Moussa Dembele, who left Celtic for Lyon in a £19.7m deal in August 2018.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard spoke earlier this week of his desire to strengthen his forward options ahead of next season.

Steven Gerrard
Image: Steven Gerrard is keen to bolster his forward options

Gerrard said: "We haven't got enough options in the number nine area at the moment. We're actively looking to strengthen in that area. We have to be patient and try and get the right one in.

"We can't just make a decision for the short term. We have to look at the big picture and the long term.

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"We'll only go in for the right name who can help us over 60 games rather than someone who can help us for the next few weeks."

Gerrard has been given the funds to make Jermain Defoe and Ianis Hagi's loan deals permanent, while Calvin Bassey, Jon McLaughlin and Leon Balogun have also arrived, but the former Liverpool captain insists more signings are needed if Rangers are to wrestle the title from Celtic.

"We need more," he said. "I have told the club that, I've been honest and open with what I feel we need.

"In terms of where we are at from a financial point of view, they are questions for other people - but I have made it quite clear that we need to add to what we've got.

"We need to add players into the 11 to make us stronger and then, naturally, that will make the squad stronger. At the moment, we still need to get people in the door."

Sevilla showed interest in Morelos in January but Rangers managed to hold onto him.

The Colombian's form dropped off after Christmas as he failed to register a goal or an assist in his final nine league appearances for Rangers, before the season was ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Morelos was dropped for the Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hearts in February, which ended in a shock 1-0 defeat for Rangers at Tynecastle, after returning late from a trip to his native Colombia.

The 24-year-old cut a frustrated figure during Rangers' 2-0 pre-season victory against Coventry City on Saturday as he failed to find the net for the fourth game running.

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