Alfredo Morelos was left out of Rangers' squad for their 2-0 win over Kilmarnock on Saturday because he is distracted by transfer speculation, says Steven Gerrard.
There have been no fresh bids for Morelos, Gerrard confirmed after Rangers' win on Saturday, with the forward having previously been close to a move to French side Lille this summer.
"I've picked the players that looked focused," Gerrard told Sky Sports News. "I said last week he'd had his head turned. I'm going to pick the players that are hungry and want to be here.
"If there are players that are hungry, that want to give everything for the shirt, they play. If people lose focus and take their eye off the ball - unfortunately they won't be with us."
Lille have now signed Canadian forward Jonathan David from Genk as a replacement for striker Victor Osimhen, which could mean they decide not to pursue a deal for Morelos.
Despite ongoing transfer speculation Morelos started every one of Rangers' opening four Scottish Premiership matches this season.
But his omission from Rangers' squad to face Kilmarnock came after Gerrard once again revealed the player is unsettled.
"It's none of my business what Lille decide to do and how they go about their negotiations, strategies and plans with trying to buy players," Gerrard said on Friday. "I'm not really interested, my concern is here at Rangers.
"I'm disappointed the player has had his head turned and doesn't look himself. That's the only thing I'm concerned about.
"But in terms of how Lille or anyone else go about their business in trying to get Alfredo's services, it's not in my control and I shouldn't concern myself with it."
Sky Sports' Kris Boyd criticised Morelos' reaction to being substituted in last week's draw at Livingston and believes the player has lost focus.
"You're looking for more. If you are looking to get that move, push on your career as we're led to believe, you have to be doing a lot more. The biggest thing that annoyed me, last week I wasn't too bothered about him going off the pitch because it shows he cares, but the way he came off on Sunday was a disgrace, ripping the black armband off and going straight into the stand.
"I don't know if he'll still be here. When we heard Lille were interested and the money they wanted to spend, then you look at his performances, two goals against St Mirren and you thought with the new guys coming in we might see him getting back to where he was. But he just looks as if his head is elsewhere. I know this might sound contradictory, but all the times we've spoken about him, barging into people, having a go at people, I can't remember mentioning him once on Sunday."
Gerrard has also had to issue a 'hands-off' warning to Leeds United this week after Rangers rejected an offer for winger Ryan Kent.
The Rangers boss said Leeds' opening, undisclosed bid is "nowhere near" the club's valuation of the player, and that the club do not want to sell Kent.
However, Gerrard admitted Premier League clubs hold a lot of power in the transfer market and the situation might be taken out of his hands.