Speculation linking Haris Belkebla with a move to Rangers has been put to bed with Brest’s sporting director Gregory Lorenzi telling L’Equipe that the in-demand midfielder is going nowhere this summer.
This highly-rated Algerian might have hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons a year ago, thrown out of his country’s triumphant African Cup of Nations campaign in rather embarrassing circumstances, but he has gone about rebuilding his reputation in the right way in recent months.
France-born Belkebla enjoyed a fine 2019/20 season as Brest stayed clear of relegation.
And, according to L’Equipe, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers were preparing an offer for a ball-winning enforcer who averages over two successful tackles and interceptions per game.
But with Brest set to lose another key midfielder in Ibrahima Diallo, The Pirates will do everything they can to stop Belkebla jumping overboard too.
“There is no opening for a possible departure of the player. We are in the spirit of wanting to strengthen (rather than weaken our squad),” Lorenzi says when asked about the Algeria international’s future.
Interestingly, Belkebla is not the only deep-lying Ligue 1 midfielder on Rangers’ radar.
The Mail (28 June, page 71) have backed up claims that Amiens enforcer Bongani Zungu could be on his way to Ibrox, with Ross Wilson pouring through clips of the South African during football’s three-month suspension.
Rangers, it seems, were using their time off quite effectively.