Jermain Defoe says Steven Gerrard played a big part in his decision to join Rangers
Last Updated: 09/01/19 6:28pm
Jermain Defoe says there was interest from Crystal Palace in signing him but he wanted a "different challenge" with Rangers.
The experienced forward has joined the Scottish Premiership side from Bournemouth on an 18-month loan deal and will link up with former England team-mate Steven Gerrard, who took charge at Ibrox in the summer.
Asked if Palace had also tried to sign him, Defoe said: "There was interest, I had to weigh it all up, and I fancied something different to be honest, I fancied a different challenge.
"It is a massive football club and I am coming into an environment where everyone is confident.
"The Palace one was lingering for years - I know a lot of people down there, (coach) Mark Bright, a lot of the players. It is obviously a fantastic football club, with a top manager (Roy Hodgson).
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"But I spoke to Stevie and decided to come here, because it is a great opportunity for me.
"When he got the job, it did make me think a little bit, and so far he is a natural."
Gerrard has guided Rangers to second in the Scottish Premiership, behind Celtic only on goal difference, and Defoe is looking forward to playing a full part in their title bid, having featured for just 22 minutes at Bournemouth this season.
"22 minutes? I thought it was less to be honest," said the forward.
"It happens to the best players in the world - for whatever reason, you don't play.
"I was always professional and it got to the stage where I probably sacrificed my own happiness for the team and the younger players, helping others."
Defoe is now 36 years old but thinks he has enough left in the tank to help Rangers.
"I am always sharp and I will always try my best," he said.
"I am not superhuman and, as you get older, the body changes but, when you get in and around the box, nothing changes."