By Noel Whelan

26th Dec, 2020 | 8:07pm

'Absolutely Not' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts as West Ham plot Borna Barsic raid

Noel Whelan is adamant that Rangers will not allow defender Borna Barisic to join West Ham or any other club in next month’s transfer window.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former SPFL forward delivered his verdict after it was revealed West Ham are interested in signing the 28-year-old.

Football Insider revealed earlier this week the Hammers are eyeing Barisic as cover for Aaron Cresswell after suffering the devastating blow of losing Arthur Masuaku for many months after knee surgery.

Masuaku faces an extended period on the sidelines and Moyes has identified Barisic, who has missed just three games this season, as a replacement.

“He will not be letting him go,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Absolutely no chance. Not in this window, not in January.

“They’re looking to go and win the league and he’s a crucial part of that team and why they’ve been successful this season.

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“I would be very, very surprised to see anybody leaving that first-team squad at Rangers when they’re on this kind of run and this kind of form. They’re a settled side, a consistent side and one that is absolutely destroying the league at the moment.

“No, would be my answer to that right now.

“Yes, maybe in the summertime there might be talks that gives them the opportunity and time to get in a replacement from the money they get in from him.

“Right now, the January window is not the window you can get a replacement without having to fork out loads of money.

“It’ll be flattering to the player, flattering to the club, but if talks are going to happen it has to be next summer.

“Gerrard wants a settled side, he wants to keep that nucleus that has done so well this season.

“So absolutely no chance will Gerrard be letting any players go.”

In other news, a top pundit has claimed Steven Gerrard will be pleading with the Rangers board after a transfer reveal.