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Nacho Novo: Alfredo Morelos will snub Rangers transfer exit

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Nacho Novo: Alfredo Morelos will snub Rangers transfer exit

Alfredo Morelos remains a Ranger despite being linked with a move out of the club.

The Colombian international is currently in Scotland under quarantine in a hotel room and is soon expected to join the rest of the team in training.

Fashion Sakala made an impact in his absence, particularly in their 2-1 victory over Real Madrid.

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Nacho Novo feels that the acquisition of the Zambian striker will encourage Morelos to stay and perform even better in order for Gerrard to keep him as his main striker.

After his move to Lille was blocked last year, Morelos put on a display after Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe arrived.

In an interview, Nacho Novo said:

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“Since day one at Rangers, Alfie has just got better and better and better. He is still a young player and is always learning.

“He has never stopped scoring goals and I think he will keep trying to challenge himself and prove that he is still the main guy at Rangers.

“He’ll have seen Fashion Sakala come in and look good against Real Madrid. But he’ll only see that as a good thing for Rangers and as a personal challenge for himself. It was the same when Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten arrived at the club.

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“People were saying that it would be the end for Alfredo, that his replacements had been brought in – but all it did was fire up Alfie and he is still the main man in the Rangers attack.

“I think it will be the same this time around. Sakala looks good and as a Rangers fan, I am delighted that there is another great striker but when Alfie gets back to training, he will be looking to play as soon as possible. He will be fit because he’s been training with Colombia all summer, so the time in quarantine won’t take too much away from him.

“He’ll be ready to fight for his jersey and I am sure Steven Gerrard will be delighted that there is so much competition for places right through his team.

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“When I was a player and we signed another striker, it made me more determined to hold onto my place. I’m sure that’s what Steven Gerrard will want to see from Alfie. He doesn’t want any player just to settle. He wants them to push themselves. No player should think they are an automatic choice every week.”

He added: “His all-round game improved massively last season. He is a goalscorer and that will always be the main part of his game but last season he was much more than that. He was dropping deeper and linking the play. He kept the ball really well.

“He was pulling defenders out of position to leave gaps for players like Ryan Kent to run in behind.

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“There were threats all over the pitch from Rangers and that was because Alfredo was occupying two and sometimes three defenders, which gave his team-mates space to hurt the opponent.

“I don’t think Steven Gerrard would have been worried that he didn’t score as many goals as in the previous seasons. He still got about 20 but Alfie’s performances allowed the others to score more goals so the gaffer will be happy with that.

“Overall, his game is great. He has developed into a top striker and the exciting thing there is even more to come from him and I hope that we will see that in a Rangers jersey this season because it would be great to see him in the Champions League if we can get there.

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“I don’t think Alfie has to prove himself to top clubs in Europe because his record is there for everyone to see. But obviously, if he can do as well in the Champions League as he did in the Europa League then he will attract even more attention and maybe a year from now he can move on.

“That’s a situation where everybody will win.

“He is a big, confident player. He believes in what he can do and he believes in himself. You look at him and he is more relaxed on and off the pitch. He has been at Rangers a long time now and he is settled.

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“I know things can change very quickly in football and with agents involved anything can happen, but I know Alfie and I know he loves Rangers. He is passionate, he loves the atmosphere around the club and loves the fans. I honestly don’t think he is in a great hurry to move on.

“Look, the performance against Real Madrid without him was absolutely fantastic. I don’t know how many chances they created against a very good team.

“I don’t listen to people who say it wasn’t Real Madrid’s first team – you don’t play for Real Madrid unless you are a top, top player and for Rangers to dominate them as they did was incredible.

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“But 100 percent, we have not seen the last of Alfredo. He will be back and up for the fight. He’s always up for the fight.”

Celtic FC

Ange provides injury report and welcomes home Scottish Cup draw

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Ange provides injury report and welcomes home Scottish Cup draw
Image Credit: Reuters

Ange Postecoglou got the job done against Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Cup fourth round on Saturday.

A 2-1 win against League One side ensured advancement to the showpiece final at Hampden Park later this season.

The goal was to get through, but despite accomplishing that goal, injuries forced Callum McGregor and Yosuke Ideguchi to leave the Indodrill Stadium.

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Ange Postecoglou spoke exclusively to Celtic TV about the duo’s fitness and the fifth round, which includes a match versus Raith Rovers at Celtic Park.

The Celtic manager said: “Callum is better today. He wasn’t in great shape after the game but I’ve exchanged messages with him and he feels a bit better, which is great.

“Knowing the type of character Callum is, for him to come off was something significant. Hopefully, his recovery doesn’t take too long.

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“Yosuke is not great. I think I said after the game it didn’t look too serious but it’s still pretty painful now.

“I was optimistic it wouldn’t be too bad, but as everyone saw in the footage it was a tackle that shouldn’t have happened and should have been addressed on the day.

“It was a terrible tackle and one he hasn’t come of too well and will be missing for a little bit as well.

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“The pitch wasn’t great in the last round against Alloa and they’re the type of things you want to avoid. The fact we’re at home in front of our supporters and on our pitch, I think is a good advantage.”

On the plus side, the team put in a strong performance on Saturday, led by Giorgos Giakoumakis, who scored his second goal for the green and white Hoops.

“It was good for him and more important it was good to get 90 minutes,” he said. “He’s had an interrupted first half of the year but he’s worked awfully hard.

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“We gave most of the guys a week off in between games but he stayed at Lennoxtown with a few other boys and put in the work.

“He got through the 90 minutes pretty strong and scored his goal, so it’s a good foundation for him.”

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Everton senior board members fume as Farhad Moshiri talks with Vitor Pereira in Monaco

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Everton senior board members fume as Farhad Moshiri talks with Vitor Pereira in Monaco
Image Credit: Sky Sports

According to the Daily Star, senior Everton officials are furious with Farhad Moshiri over his weekend meetings with Vitor Pereira.

Moshiri met with the contender for talks in Monaco, according to the newspaper’s print copy (25/01).

Given how disastrous the move to appoint Rafa Benitez was, board members at Goodison Park are thought to have strong opposition.

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“Board and on the senior executive, especially given the disastrous appointment of Rafa Benitez,” the piece concluded.

Moshiri appeared to be going in headfirst and making the decision without engaging anyone.

This just goes to show that, while he may be a terrific businessman, his football brain is still lagging behind and causing serious problems at Goodison Park.

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The owner is in desperate need of advice because some of his recent actions have been comical.

The fans are grateful to those senior board members who opted to stand up and be counted on this occasion, preventing a catastrophe.

Pereira may have won awards during his career, but he did so in nations like China, Greece, and Portugal, where it is expected.

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Hopefully, Moshiri will listen to his board members more often, and they will assist him in making the best decision possible to move the Toffees ahead rather than backward.

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Newcastle table £10m loan offer, player out of contract in the summer

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Newcastle table £10m loan offer, player out of contract in the summer

Newcastle have reportedly made a £10 million loan approach for Jesse Lingard in the final days of the January transfer window, according to 90Min. According to the report, despite the fact that conversations have lasted a month, they ‘anticipate’ this offer to be ‘accepted.’

Lingard, who is 29 years old, has only started two of his 14 league and cup games this season. That’s following a brilliant loan spell with West Ham last season, in which he netted nine goals and contributed five assists in 16 appearances. In June, his contract will expire.

Newcastle, as well as West Ham and Tottenham, have been heavily connected with Lingard. However, according to the source, Newcastle has offered United a £10 million loan fee for Lingard after extensive discussions.

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GettyImages 1363299523 1 scaled 1
Image Credit: Sky Sports

Unless he accepts a new Old Trafford contract, such a deal would likely put an end to his United career. It’s unknown whether Lingard wants to transfer, but it’s been said that Newcastle would have to pay him twice as much as he is now.

Lingard still needs to be persuaded. Newcastle triumphed over the weekend, which is crucial not only in terms of staying up but also in terms of attracting players this month. It provides those who are being hunted a better chance of surviving.

Lingard possesses the ability to increase Newcastle’s hopes of remaining in the Premier League significantly. If he joins on loan, Newcastle will have six months to persuade him to sign a permanent contract – and it could work out.

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