Dynamo Kiev are preparing a last ditch £7million bid for Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos while Bordeaux could also return to the table for the hot-headed Colombian ahead of the transfer window closing on Friday night.
Morelos was one of two Rangers players sent off in Russia on Thursday as the nine-man Ibrox side defended heroically to reach the Europa League group stage with a 2-1 aggregate success.
Rangers remain in advanced talks with the striker’s agents over a new £30,000-a-week contract after turning down a Bordeaux offer in excess of £4m two weeks ago.
Dynamo Kiev are preparing a deadline day bid worth £7m for Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos
Indeed, Steven Gerrard has warned it will take a ‘massive’ bid to land the 22-year-old after scoring six goals already in the current campaign.
Despite receiving little or no encouragement from Morelos, his representatives or Rangers, however, Kiev were still preparing to put the matter to the test.
Bordeaux are also considering a fresh attempt to land Morelos after they were rebuffed in a bid for PAOK’s Serbian striker Aleksandar Prijovic.
Gerrard insists he still trusts Morelos to handle the Old Firm heat at Celtic Park this weekend despite his crazy red card against Ufa.
He was shown two yellow cards by German referee Tobias Stieler in the 37th minute after a show of dissent followed him kicking the ball away.
Jon Flanagan followed Morelos up the tunnel in the 66th minute after a pair of bookings for fouls on Dmitri Zhivoglyadov.
It was the second dismissal of the season for Morelos, although his red card against Aberdeen on the opening day of the season was later rescinded on appeal.
Rangers now head to Parkhead on Sunday and, while adamant the 22-year-old forward must now learn from his mistakes, Gerrard is confident he will keep his head in the derby environment.
‘I’ll have no problem trusting him there at all,’ said Gerrard, who confirmed a season-long loan for Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall had been agreed.
‘I trust the player. I love the player. You’ll see pretty soon how much I think of him. In the coming days, I hope we will manage to get the deal signed.
‘But what I do need from Alfredo is for him to take a bit more responsibility.
‘I don’t want to criticise anyone tonight because it is a really big achievement and the players should be congratulated.
‘Alfredo will know himself. He is still young, he is going to make mistakes, he is a human being.
‘I’ll back him. But at the same time, he needs to help me. He needs to really not get involved and just focus on his football because he is a helluva player.
‘I am sure both Alfredo and Jon will feel they have let the lads down. But the lads have rolled their sleeves up and bailed them out. I think tonight we have become one and become a team.’
Ovie Ejaria claimed a precious away goal but Dmitri Sysuev levelled before the red cards began.
Gerrard was effusive about the commitment shown by his depleted side and hopes they are rewarded with some testing glamour fixtures in Friday’s group stage draw.
‘I asked for heroes and warriors but they have gone beyond that,’ he said. ‘In terms of pride and satisfaction, that is right up there with my playing days.
‘Of course it is about trophies and success and it always will be at this club. But if you go back to where it was 12 months ago, and where it was when I walked in the door, these players have given an almighty effort to turn it round.
‘I hope the draw is really tough. I hope we get big teams and big players because that’s where I want my players. That’s where Rangers should be. Why not? Bring it on.’
Rangers will bank around £6m from their group-stage participation, which could aid future squad rebuilding. With Worrall confirmed and Albania winger Eros Grezda set to complete a £2m move from Osijek, Gerrard will have signed 14 players since his arrival.