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Jermain Defoe urges Alfredo Morelos to ignore transfer speculation

Jermain Defoe urges Alfredo Morelos to ignore transfer speculation
© Reuters
The striker is interesting Lille.

Jermain Defoe has urged Alfredo Morelos to let his football do the talking and leave the negotiations over his Rangers future to his agent.

Speculation continues to mount that the Colombian's three-year Ibrox stay may be nearing an end amid interest from Lille.

Steven Gerrard has already moved to ensure his is not left short on firepower if the £20million-rated striker is lured away after Tuesday's double swoop for Anderlecht's Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten of St Gallen.

But Gerrard insists Morelos remains firmly part of his plans for now with Lille failing to follow up on an unsuccessful opening bid of around £13million.

The transfer rumours seem to have had an affect on the former HJK Helsinki player, who has scored just one goal in 2020.

Now Defoe, who has acted as a mentor to the 23-year-old since joining the club, has offered up some fresh advise.

He said: "I would just say to him, 'Don't even get involved.' Literally. When you are young sometimes you can become anxious.

"Especially for him when he sees two new forwards have come into the football club. Just get your head down and play football. If I was Alfredo I wouldn't even think about it.

"I would put my phone down and I wouldn't even speak to my agent to be honest. I would just let them take care of whatever is happening, get my head down and play football.

"At the end of the day this is what we do. We play football and we let the football do the talking. That's what people say and that's the best way to approach any situation like this."

Gerrard is reported to have spent around £8.5million securing Roofe and Itten but Defoe does not fear he is dropping down his former England colleague's pecking order.

The ex-West Ham, Spurs and Portsmouth striker – who is expecting to return from a pre-season hamstring injury within the next week – said: "I'm excited by it. Throughout my career, I've always been excited by new players coming in. I want to see how good they are.

"Bringing players in is part and parcel of the game now especially if you want to achieve something special. I'm looking forward to seeing them both.

"If there are players with the potential to take your place then that is healthy. It's tough for the manager, but at the same time it's something that you need."

While Defoe is excited by the arrival of the two newcomers, he was left cringing by his former Tottenham team-mate Jamie O'Hara, who made headlines this week when he suggested the vacant Bournemouth post was a bigger job than the Ibrox hotseat.

Defoe, who spent 18 months with the Cherries before making his move to Glasgow, said: "I know Jamie and he's that sort of character and he's not shy. When I saw it I laughed. I couldn't believe it. I was thinking 'Jamie, why say that?'

"It's difficult for me because I played for Bournemouth, but let's be honest, there's no comparison. The size of this football club is massive with an unbelievable fan base. It's laughable what he said."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States98825
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia77418
Great BritainGreat Britain45413
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (3.15am-6.10am)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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