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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard wants to sign Britt Assombalonga, according to TEAMtalk, and this suggests that Jermain Defoe will not be handed a new contract at Ibrox.

TEAMtalk has claimed that Assombalonga has been told by his club Middlesbrough that he can leave this summer, and that the former Nottingham Forest striker is close to agreeing personal terms with Rangers.

The report has added that the 28-year-old is so keen on a move to Rangers that he is willing to take a pay-cut to complete the transfer to the Scottish Premiership champions.

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Assombalonga is 28 years of age and can still get back to his best, and his reportedly imminent arrival at Ibrox does raise questions on the future of Defoe.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United striker is out of contract at the end of May, according to Transfermarkt.co.uk, and no new deal is in place yet.

Defoe still remains an important figure at Rangers, but the striker is 38 now and is not a regular starter.

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According to WhoScored, the Englishman – described as “incredible” by Gerrard on BBC Sport in January 2020 – has made three starts and eight substitute appearances in the Scottish Premiership for Rangers this season, scoring two goals and providing one assist in the process.

Alfredo Morelos, Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten are the other strikers available to Gerrard at the moment.

Defoe is 38, and Rangers might be looking at the long term, and bringing in Assombalonga, who is 10 years younger than him, would make sense.

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