By support

15th May, 2018 | 9:46am

Lee McCulloch: It would be a shame if this Rangers senior player exits in summer

Former Rangers captain Lee McCulloch believes it would be “something of a shame” if Rangers allowed Bruno Alves to leave Ibrox this summer – and thinks the Gers “never really” got the best out of Portuguese veteran this season.

Alves joined the Gers to great fanfare last summer but has largely disappointed in his debut season in Scotland – with suggestions he could leave this summer when Steven Gerrard takes the reins as manager.

McCulloch thinks it could be difficult for the Gers to move the senior player on over the next few months – but insists that Alves still has “some of that ability” in the tank.

“Bruno Alves might be expected to leave, and that is something of a shame for me, because I don’t think that Rangers ever really got to see the best of him because of his injuries,” McCulloch said, as quoted by the Evening Times.

“Any time I have watched him he has contributed to the game, albeit that was sometimes for the opposition, but there is no doubt that he has been a top-level player and some of that ability is still in the tank.

“I thought he did really well on Sunday and steadied the ship when he came on. He obviously has another year on his contract, but I just wonder if his heart has really been in it. Moving him on may be difficult, and ripping up his contract would be pricey. Hopefully the club and the player can reach some sort of agreement that is best for both parties, but I don’t think it would necessarily be the worst thing if he did stay around.”

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Football insider verdict

Alves done well when he was introduced against Hibs on Sunday but he’s had an entire season of lacklustre performances already under his belt. Getting rid of the former Zenit St. Petersburg, Porto and Fenerbahce defender could cost the Ibrox giants a sizeable amount of money if there is no interest in the veteran. A lot could depend on who Steven Gerrard and director of football Mark Allen recruit over the summer and whether they see Alves as having something that he can contribute to the squad. Whatever happens with Alves future, there will be few who argue that he has been nowhere near good enough this season and the perception that he has wrapped himself in cotton wool to protect his chances of going to this summer’s World Cup hasn’t done him many favours with the Rangers support. With only one year left on his Ibrox contract, the could still find a way to move him on this summer and free up some more wages for Gerrard to spend improving his squad.

In other Rangers news, Scott Arfield is looking forward to life at Ibrox

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