IF Rangers had decided to cash in on Alfredo Morelos, there would have been eight million reasons why they could have justified the decision.

There was only a single argument to keep him. That was the most important one, though.

It was football rather than finance, points rather than pounds, that drove the thinking at Ibrox and now only the Colombian can prove that Rangers made the right call.

If the choice had been taken out of Graeme Murty’s hands completely, the Light Blues boss could have had no complaints. His perspective on the field was just as important as Dave King’s off it, however.

Having £8million in the bank and no striker to lead the line would have made no sense for Rangers and severely jeopardised their chances of finishing second in the Premiership and winning the Scottish Cup this term. Indeed, it could have proven to be the beginning of the end for Murty’s chances of being boss beyond the summer.

The arrival of Jason Cummings and return to fitness of Kenny Miller could have compensated slightly for the loss of Morelos. But the on-loan Nottingham Forest forward remains unproven in the Premiership and the Ibrox veteran has just four goals from 18 appearances to his credit this season.

The football case, therefore, didn’t stack up. As far as King was concerned, that was the key consideration and Murty was put under no pressure to sacrifice his star striker.

That is not to say that Morelos won’t be sold in the future. At the end of the day, every player has a price and a right moment to make a move but this wasn’t the bid or the time for Rangers.

There are two scenarios at play between now and the end of the campaign and it is at that stage that events over the last week will come to the fore once again.

If Morelos continues his current form and can get near 25 goals for the season, his value will undoubtedly increase and the offers on the table will surely come from more established and appealing divisions than the Chinese Super League.

It is only a few weeks since the 21-year-old revealed in an interview back in his homeland that he has ambitions of playing in the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A in the future. If he wants to realise those dreams, he must perform for Rangers.

The best way for Morelos to get the move that he wants is to continue doing what brought him to the attention of Beijing Renhe in the first place and that is score goals.

If his attitude is right and the performances follow, both he and Rangers will be able to name their price come the summer. The Gers will make a healthy profit on the £1million they paid HJK Helsinki for his services and Morelos will earn the kind of sums he desires.

The other side of the argument does Morelos no favours at all. If he reacts in a negative way, which Murty is confident he won’t, then he will find himself out of the team and making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

In that event, and if the bids don’t come in the summer, both Morelos and Rangers could be left thinking ‘what if?’, but the striker could regret it more than the Ibrox board.

The model of buying low and selling high is one that Rangers must master in the coming years if they are to close the financial and football gaps to Celtic.

It is about knowing when to cash in and knowing when to keep. Only time will tell if Rangers have passed their first transfer test.


There was little for the home crowd to cheer on a chilly afternoon on Saturday but the return of Paul Gascoigne would have warmed the hearts of the Rangers support.

On more than one occasion in recent years, many of them would have feared that they would never see Gazza on the Ibrox pitch again. So the sight of him smiling and taking the acclaim from the stands will be one of the enduring images of the campaign.

The roar he received was a just reward for his efforts in the past. Everyone that met him and saw him will surely wish him well for the future.