Rangers boss Steven Gerrard believes Glen Kamara should be given a new contract not only to reward the player but to send a message that the club is building for the long term.
The midfielder has been an important player as Rangers have made an unbeaten start to the season and he was praised by his manager for another strong performance as the team defeated Lech Poznan on Thursday night.
Gerrard believes that it’s “only natural” that stand-out players will attract the attention of other clubs and although Kamara’s current deal runs until 2023, he thinks it makes sense to extend that commitment.
“It’s pretty simple,” the manager said. “It’s my job to advise when I think people deserve to be rewarded.
“It’s my job to advise when I predict there is a lot of noise around a certain individual and obviously to try to protect the club, the board, the team and everyone from a situation where we could lose one of our best players.
“That’s the reason why I said last night that we need to try to move his personal situation forward. The board are aware of it, they are on the same page, and I think it will only be a matter of time. But basically that is my job and that’s what I did.”
Gerrard thinks the added benefit would be making it clear that the club wants to keep the current side together.
“It’s also a case of sending a message that we’re trying to build a team here,” he said.
“Everyone is working ever so hard to move the team forward. The last thing we need now is to lose a big piece of that jigsaw.”
A new contract would also be a reward for the player himself, who joined the club from Dundee in 2019.
“Glen has been absolutely sensational since he’s come in,” Gerrard said.
“It’s not just about what you’ve got left on your contract, it’s about what you deserve. It’s about protecting yourself from the future and what could possibly happen.
“Glen is happy, he’s enjoying his football, he loves it here and he’s working ever so hard. For me it’s the right thing to do.
“He’s a magnificent player. He’s progressed, moved on so well and he’s just a fantastic kid to work with. He does everything right and I would like to see him rewarded for that.”
The Rangers manager also addressed questions about players coming into the squad in the coming transfer window. He dismissed suggestions that Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour would be heading to Ibrox on loan but did concede that there was interest in Colombian striker Juan Alegria.
“The Alegria one is slightly different,” he said. “We are well aware of the player and his talent.
“We are always looking to recruit right through the club. This is something the academy has had a closer eye on than myself but we are very much aware of the boy.
“There is something in that one but there is nothing to report on it as of yet.”