Brian Laudrup cannot see a way back for Alfredo Morelos at Rangers and believes the club should move to sell him as quickly as possible.
The Sportsmail columnist also feels Morelos will live to regret his recent behaviour after previously claiming he wanted to leave Ibrox with his ‘head held high’.
Steven Gerrard admitted a lack of focus from the Colombian striker made it an easy decision for him to be dropped from the squad for Saturday’s win over Kilmarnock. #
Ibrox legend Laudrup backs Gerrard’s stance and argues the manager has sent a strong message that Rangers will not be messed around by a player who wants to be elsewhere.
Lille are weighing up a fresh offer for Morelos after seeing an earlier £16million offer rejected, while clubs in England and on the continent are monitoring the situation.
‘The quicker he leaves, the better I think it will be for Rangers Football Club,’ said Laudrup.
‘It’s sad because he has been a very good striker, especially in Europe. That’s why a club like Lille have been prepared to pay a lot of money for him. But it’s a shame that it now looks as though he will be leaving through the back door rather than the front door.
‘Morelos has come out so often and explained that he wants to play in one of the bigger leagues. That’s fine if you are performing. Steven Gerrard would look at it and decide he could live with it.
‘But if he is not producing to expectations then he will become a nuisance in the team. Players around him will become annoyed. They will be thinking: ‘Why is he here if he doesn’t want to be here?’
‘For me, offloading him would be the best option for him, for the club and everyone else. It has to be done as quickly as possible, I think.
‘If it’s correct that he has not committed himself in training, then Gerrard was right to say he’d made it an easy decision.
‘Unless all the other strikers were to get injured in one training session, I can’t see Morelos playing again.
‘To me, dropping him at the weekend was a statement that you can’t mess Steven Gerrard about — and you can’t mess this club about.’
Morelos has scored 79 goals in three years at Rangers following a £1m move from HJK Helsinki.
While recognising the immense value of that input, Laudrup feels the 23-year-old’s legacy will be affected by the manner of his likely departure.
‘He’s scored a lot of great goals in the Europa League and that’s clearly a difficult task,’ added the Dane, who won three league titles during Rangers’ nine-in-a-row era.
‘Okay, he hasn’t scored in an Old Firm game but that would have come with the skill he has.
‘His head has been turned, unfortunately. At the age he is, I have said before that I would have loved to see him stay and play at Rangers for another season, or maybe two seasons, and then got his move.
‘To go and try to win that title, so that when people think back on Morelos they would remember him as a winner and great striker.
‘Now, it’s like: ‘Oh, he couldn’t score against Celtic, he never won anything at the club and now he’s leaving.’
‘That’s a shame and I think it is something he will regret later in his life. But I can’t see a way back now, unfortunately.’
Leeds United are also lining up an improved bid for Ryan Kent after an initial £10m approach was turned down, but Laudrup keenly hopes Rangers are able to retain a player who scored his third Premiership goal of the season at the weekend.
‘Looking at Kent, it seems that he is very happy with how things are going and not at all as if he wants to leave,’ said Laudrup.
‘He looks really determined and more direct. He is someone who could make the difference this season — who already is, in fact — and will become even better in the future.
‘Hopefully Leeds don’t make a really extreme offer because that would be some decision for the club to have to make.’