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Alfredo Morelos: Steven Gerrard says Rangers striker available for Aberdeen trip

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says striker Alfredo Morelos is focused and that no deal has been agreed to sell him to Lille

Steven Gerrard says Alfredo Morelos is available for Rangers' trip to Aberdeen and that the decision over whether the player leaves the club is "in his hands".

Much of Rangers' preparations for the new campaign have been overshadowed by ongoing speculation linking Morelos with a move away from Ibrox.

Ligue 1 side Lille are believed to be the front-runners for the Colombian's signature, but Gerrard insists players will only be allowed to leave the club if the move is right for all parties and they meet the club's valuations.

"I think the big news is always Alfredo, I think it always has been for years," Gerrard said.

"I remember looking in from afar and it was about Alfredo quite a lot of the time there as well.

"That's something that we are all used to, that is something we'll accept.

Connor Goldson celebrates after he scored Rangers' second goal
Image: Rangers wrapped up their pre-season schedule with a 2-0 win over Coventry City

"There is nothing to report on him in terms of his situation, he's focused, he's training well and he's available for tomorrow. In terms of whether he will start or not, you will find out tomorrow 75 minutes before the game.

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"It is in my hands and it is in my control. But in terms of - for any of our players - at the end of going out the door, if a valuation is met and we decide collectively that it is the right thing for the football club, we will always be prepared (to sell) in any area."

'Mental toughness needed for Rangers title challenge'

Gerrard says his Rangers side will need to control outside pressures as they look to mount a stronger title challenge this season.

Rangers travel to Aberdeen when they kick-off the 2019/20 Scottish Premiership season on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Football, and Gerrard acknowledged his players will need plenty of mental fortitude if they are to halt Celtic's attempts to claim a 10th consecutive top-flight title.

"Yes I think it's an area that we have to be extremely strong in terms of attitude and mentality over the course of the season," Gerrard said.

Steven Gerrard acknowledges Rangers will need a strong mentality if they are to go on and win the title
Image: Gerrard agreed that Rangers will need a strong mentality if they are to go on and win the title

"For me it is important to try and control the noise. We have to accept that there is going to be a lot of noise, we understand the importance of the season.

"But for me it is the next challenge, that's always the vital one and that's Aberdeen. That's what everyone is focused on at the moment.

"We're in good shape on the back of what you say is a successful pre-season, but I'm not sure you get much success from a pre-season if you like, but we are going in in good shape and people are looking ready."

Scottish Prem: New season on Sky Sports

Celtic will kick off their Scottish Premiership title defence at home to Hamilton Academical on August 2, while Rangers travel to Aberdeen on August 1, with both games live on Sky Sports.

Sky Sports reveals line-up for exclusively live coverage of Scottish Premiership

Neil Lennon's Celtic side, who were crowned champions for the ninth successive season in May after the SPFL opted to curtail the 2019/20 campaign, are looking for a 10th straight title, and will host the Accies at Celtic Park in a 4.30pm kick-off on the Sunday, while Steven Gerrard's Rangers are at Pittodrie at 12.30pm on the Saturday.

Also on the opening week, Motherwell's trip to Ross County on August 3 will be live on Sky Sports, while all 12 Scottish Premiership teams will be shown live on Sky Sports in August, with more live fixtures to be announced from September onwards.

From August, Sky Sports will be the only broadcaster to offer live coverage of the Scottish Premiership, with up to 48 games available on the new home of Scottish football.

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