By Kevin Phillips

22nd Jan, 2020 | 7:00am

'It wouldn't surprise me' - Kevin Phillips tips Rangers bench regular to join lower-end PL team

Kevin Phillips has tipped Jermain Defoe to join a lower-end Premier League club if he does not secure a permanent move to Rangers.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England striker and Sunderland legend is in no doubt the veteran striker is still a player a demand even though he’s 37 and out of contract at the end of the season.

Steven Gerrard’s side want to convert the loan contract of Defoe into a full-time deal ahead of it expiring next summer, when his agreement with parent club Bournemouth also ends.

Phillips is a huge admirer of a fellow expert in the centre-forward trade and suggests he may continue at the top for some time yet.

Asked by Football Insider if he expects Defoe to permanently join Rangers, Phillips said: “Possibly, I think it just depends on what Jermain wants to do. He strikes me as he just wants to play football for as long as he can.

“I can see it still looks like he’s got that enthusiasm for the game, that love of the game and you know what?

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Rangers didn’t take it up, there would be teams in the Championship or lower end of the Premier League queuing up to take him because they know he’s guaranteed to get you goals, important goals when you need it.

“So it will be interesting to see what they do the end of the season.”

Defoe is third in the SPL scoring charts behind only Alfredo Morelos and Odsonne Edouard with 11 strikes this season, averaging a goal every 67 minutes.

But he has not been a regular starter in his second Ibrox campaign, and has been on the bench for all the marquee fixtures, including the six Europa League group stage games, cup final and semi-final, and the two Old Firm SPL clashes.

In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that the club have tabled a new striker offer.