Clement expects Tavernier and Goldson to be at Rangers next season

The defensive duo have been linked with a move that would reunite them with Steven Gerrard.

Philippe Clement says he expects Rangers duo James Tavernier and Connor Goldson to still be at the club next season amid rumours of a potential move abroad.

The defensive pair, who have been mainstays in the team in recent seasons, have been linked with a move to Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League.

But the manager insists it is nothing more than rumours and says he is expecting both to remain part of his squad next season

Tavernier signed for Rangers just under nine years ago and has been captain of the club since 2018, skippering them to a Premiership title, a Scottish Cup and a League Cup while scoring 125 goals.

Speaking to the media on Friday, ahead of their game against St Mirren this weekend, Clement said: “I didn’t hear anything from Steven. I expect them both to be here next season and that is my expectation.

“There has been no reason (for me to speak to them about their future), my players will come to me if they want to speak about that if they have doubts or if they want to go, or if they are out of contract.

“We have that relationship, if I need to speak to every player every time there is a rumour then we will not train too much because there are so many rumours in the world now and so much fake news also so if we need to speak about that every time then I think it is a waste of energy.

The Belgian had no new update on out of contract players but said John Lundstram has been offered a new deal to keep him at Ibrox beyond this summer when his current contract expires.

“There are still six games to convince us either way (on out of contract players), there is nothing new to speak about (with Lundstram), there have been offers from the club but there is no agreement yet and that is all I ca say at the moment.”

Clement also revealed that Rangers Abdallah Sima has suffered a new injury setback with Rabbi Matondo also a doubt for their trip to Paisley on Sunday.

He said: “Sima will be out, we are in contact with Brighton about that for the next couple of weeks, Rabbi Matondo also got a bad tackle during the last game so he is doubtful for the weekend. Ridvan Yilmaz and Ryan Jack I expect to be back in training next week.

“I hope to see Sima playing again this season and he hope also, he is very motivated for that. He is a terrific lad, he is somebody with really strong mental strength and a really positive person so he takes it and he wants to come back as soon as possible.”

“It’s exciting and good for the fans to have the best teams competing with each other and it creates an extra tension.

“I like the system in Scotland where the best teams all play against each other after the split, so we will look to enjoy that.

“Alex (Rae) told me that one season he went into the last four games of the season four points behind and still ended up champions, so anything is possible.”

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