Pundit makes 'massive' Defoe claim after Rangers reveal via Sky
Noel Whelan has tipped Rangers to seal a “massive” contract with Jermain Defoe after talks get underway.
The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted there was “no real risk” in handing the 38-year-old a new deal.
As quoted by Sky Sports, Steven Gerrard confirmed the Gers are in discussions with the veteran striker, who is out of contract this summer, over his future.
Steven Gerrard has revealed Rangers have opened talks with Jermain Defoe as they plot out the next stage of the striker's career.
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) May 5, 2021
The broadcaster report the former Tottenham and Sunderland hitman is keen to stay on at Ibrox for another season.
However, as revealed by Football Insider, Defoe would have to take a major pay cut to reflect his role as a bit-part player for the Glasgow giants.
Whelan insisted the striker still had plenty to offer on and off the pitch.
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As such, he tipped the two parties to strike a deal for him to stay past the summer.
“We know what he brings which is professionalism and enthusiasm,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.
“Also, for younger people coming through at that football club, what a role model to have. Watching him play, his movement, having him there as guidance in crossing and finishing drills but also having the experience there alongside Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister.
“Somebody that they can turn to, ask questions and another voice and leadership in the changing room. There’s no doubt he’s going to want to test himself again in the Champions League and finish on a real high.
“There’s no real risk in keeping Jermain Defoe. They know themselves they have to manage him with his fitness and how many games he plays, how many minutes he plays.
“He’s not going to get through a full season but I think he just offers Ibrox, Rangers and the players around something more than just playing regularly.
“He’ll come on and do his bit but I think in and around the changing room in, in and around the training ground, he’d be a massive personality to have. A big, big plus for the strikers and signing him to a new contract is massive news all round.”
Defoe has started just five times in 18 appearances for the Light Blues this season.
He scored his sixth goal of the campaign in the 4-1 win over Celtic last weekend.