By Noel Whelan

28th Nov, 2020 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Big-name Rangers exit touted by pundit after £16m Ibrox reveal

Noel Whelan has insisted the future of Steven Gerrard and the prospect of fans returning to Ibrox will determine whether Rangers cash in on any of their stars next year.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen and Leeds striker suggested the Light Blues could boost their coffers enough to avoid a big-name sale with fans back in the stands.

An analysis of the club’s recently-published accounts by Football Insider have shown how a spiralling wage bill and growing losses could force the Gers into a big-money sale next summer regardless of how the current season goes.

The Gers, who recorded that they had picked up just £700,000 in player sales over the most recent financial year, posted a loss of £15.9million despite revenue increasing 11 per cent.

Whelan has suggested that as well as finances, Gerrard’s future could determine who stays and goes at Ibrox at the end of the year.

Asked if he thought the Gers could sell one of their top assets to balance the books, Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s difficult, they’re gonna have a great season, they’re going to win the league, I know that anyway.

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“It’s whether Steven Gerrard stays, I think that’s the key for some of the players. If Steven stays and he doesn’t get tapped up by a Premier League side – because people are looking at him now, they’re talking about him as this young manager that’s doing great things up in Scotland – sometimes it’s about the players wanting to play for a certain person.

“I think you’ll only see any kind of sale at the back end of the season, but then also will fans be allowed back in as well? If they are, then they can catch up with that revenue without probably having to sell anybody. If not, you’ll have to sell somebody.”

Rangers currently sit 11 points clear at the top of the Premiership table and are in a good position to secure a place in the Europa League knock-out stages.

In other Rangers news: Music to my ears – Hutton left buzzing over Ryan Kent contract reveal.