Vieira would be wasting his time bidding for Morelos – Gerrard

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has told Nice boss Patrick Vieira he will be wasting his time making a bid for Alfredo Morelos.

Reports on Tuesday morning claimed the Ligue 1 outfit were considering a £8million swoop for the Colombian.

With Mario Balotelli rumoured to be heading back to Italy, the Daily Record say Nice coach Patrick Vieira views Morelos as the ideal replacement.

But Gers have already knocked back a similar offer for the 22-year-old from their French rivals Bordeaux earlier this season and Gerrard is determined to keep hold of the striker as he looks to partner him alongside new recruit Jermain Defoe.

Now the former Liverpool skipper has warned off his old Arsenal sparring partner Vieira to forget about landing Morelos this month.

Gerrard, who confirmed the signing of Matt Polster will depend on the club securing a work permit for the US international, said: “There’s been nothing concrete.

“At the moment in this window, Alfredo won’t be going anywhere.

“But every one of our players has got a price, I’m not naive enough to sit here and say they haven’t.

“But none of my players will be going out the door certainly in this window, so anyone who is preparing a bid or thinking of a bid will be wasting their time.”

However, Gerrard reckons it would be more than worthwhile for Scottish football chiefs to investigate the introduction of VAR.

The Light Blues manager joined fellow bosses and referees at a summit in Perth last week to discuss the fall-out from a spate of recent high-profile controversies involving officials.

But while he backed moves to help referees with replay technology, he admits those in charge of top flight sides can do more to help referees by keeping their mouths shut after matches.

“The statistics tell you that VAR helps the officials get more decisions, more big decisions, right,” he said. “That suggests it’s common sense to look into VAR and try to introduce it at some point. I’m in favour of it.

“But what I would say is that the statistics from the officials are actually excellent when you listen to what they said in the room.

“They do a very good job, a very difficult job, and I think us managers in the heat of the moment have to respect the officials more moving forward and that’s what we’ll try to do.

“It is tough as we’re in pressured jobs and we all want to win so much – but we also have to respect the referees and their livelihoods.”

Gers return to Ladbrokes Premiership action for the first time since last month’s Old Firm victory when they take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Wednesday night.

Jordan Jones – who has agreed a pre-contract move to Ibrox – is likely to be in Steve Clarke’s Killie line-up and Gerrard insists his side will not be going lightly on the winger.

He said: “We’re well aware of Jordan but where we stand right now is that he’s a Kilmarnock player, so he’s the enemy, he’s a rival and that’s the way we’ll treat him.

“I don’t think he’s got anything to prove but from his point of view he’s still got to prove to Kilmarnock that he’s still focused and willing to do a job for them until the end of the season.

“But nothing changes for us. We’ll treat him as an opponent and with respect if he’s playing. But this game is more about Rangers against Kilmarnock than on one individual.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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