In comments reported by the Daily Record, Steven Gerrard has hinted that talks are planned with Bruno Alves to discuss his Rangers future for after Portugal's involvement in the World Cup comes to an end.
Alves endured a difficult first year at Ibrox. Under Pedro Caixinha, the veteran was playing regularly but he struggled for game-time following the Portuguese's departure and it would seemingly not surprise too many people if he had already played his final game for the Gers.
The Record reports that a potential move to Vitoria Guimaraes has fallen through as the Portuguese outfit cannot afford the 36-year-old, but there is still the possibility that he could leave. But Gerrard has insisted that he does not plan to speak to Alves until after the World Cup.
“I haven’t spoken to Bruno yet," he said, as reported by the Record. "I have given him the respect he deserves and he has got very important things to focus on right now in terms of the World Cup and that should be his priority.
“I don’t think I should be phoning him and having a conversation on his domestic career just yet. There will be a time for it. He will have a break after Portugal either win the tournament or get knocked out and then I will have a conversation with Bruno and talk to him. I didn’t want to go in and speak to him or try and get contact with him while he has got important things to focus on.”
Rangers have added depth to their options at the back already this summer with Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic both arriving permanently. Signing at least two centre-backs was undoubtedly necessary, and the Record reports that Fabio Cardoso has been told that he can leave, but the deals still hint that Alves' future at Ibrox is doubtful.
It would be little surprise if many fans were not too disappointed if the club sold Alves this summer, but perhaps keeping him around would also get some support.
Goldson and Katic are still relatively inexperienced so unless Gerrard plans to bring another veteran in, Alves arguably has a role to play next season. And given that there were flashes of quality during his first year in the Scottish Premiership - his final day free-kick at Hibs may perhaps prove to be the perfect parting gift if he does leave - keeping him around may be beneficial.