Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has denied claims made by TV pundit Chris Sutton that the signing of Ryan Kent was a panic buy following the defeat to Celtic in the Old Firm derby.
The 22-year-old signed from Liverpool on deadline day at the beginning of the month for an initial £6.5m and when asked about the motivation behind the move, the Gers boss said that a bid was planned before their 2-0 defeat at Ibrox:
“The Celtic defeat had nothing to do with it. We’d been trying to get Ryan Kent through the door from the moment he walked out the door. It wasn’t a reaction to losing.”
“We had a board meeting the day before the Old Firm game where we discussed it and thankfully we got it done just in time but there were times through the transfer window when I didn’t think we’d get him in.”
Kent had been pursued right throughout the summer, but negotiations with the European champions were long and arduous. It appears that it was only when the Scottish transfer window was close to shutting that talks began to intensify.
It was originally believed that Liverpool were demanding £12m for the winger, but once it became clear no club would be prepared to pay that fee, Rangers managed to secure the deal for just over half that amount.