Rangers have “strongly rejected” a bid from Leeds United for winger Ryan Kent, with the Premier League newcomers “way, way off” with their opening offer.
Leeds are looking to strengthen their squad ahead of their return to the top flight, with Kent seen as an ideal recruit to increase the attacking options available to head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
However, Rangers are understandably loathed to lose a player they only signed permanently from Liverpool less than a year ago.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against Kilmarnock, Gers boss Steven Gerrard confirmed Leeds’ approach but made clear the Scottish club are determined to keep hold of the 23-year-old.
“Ryan’s a player we admire very much here,” Gerrard told the media.
“He’s a player that we’ve seen develop at Liverpool for a long time. We bought him here on loan and he did ever so well, then we went and bought him and he’s done ever so well and is progressing very, very quickly here.
“He’s in a good place and he’s in good form. He’s a player we want to keep hold of.
“Yes, we have had contact from Leeds, and an opening bid has been really strongly rejected.”
SG: We want the player to see here, as do the board. The fans love him also and Leeds will need to respect that, they need to really think hard if they want to come in again. I have spoken to Ryan and he is totally focused on the match tomorrow.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) August 21, 2020
Kent managed seven league goals in the 2019-20 campaign for Rangers and has already scored twice at the start of the new campaign in Scotland.
When asked if Leeds would be given the same answer if they came back with an improved offer, Gerrard replied: “It depends on what that bid is, but they were way, way off with that opening bid.
“He’s a player who is not for sale, we don’t want to lose Ryan, he’s a big part of what we’ve been trying to do here.
“We want him to stay here for many, many years. But we know Premiership teams hold a lot of power – that’s the reality, that’s the way it is. We have to accept that.
“But the message to Leeds is the opening bid is nowhere near the valuation of the player, and we obviously don’t want to sell.”
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