Jermain Defoe: Rangers set to sign Bournemouth striker, 36, on 18-month loan

Jermain Defoe
Defoe has had to settle for being a substitute at Bournemouth this term

Rangers are poised to sign Bournemouth's former England striker Jermain Defoe on an 18-month loan deal.

The 36-year-old has been restricted to just four substitute appearances in the Premier League this season and hasn't scored since the end of March.

He will bolster Steven Gerrard's attacking options as the Ibrox club seek to maintain their challenge to Scottish Premiership champions Celtic.

Rangers are level on points with their city rivals, having played a game more.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says no deal has yet been finalised, insisting any potential transfer will only progress if "in the player's best interest".

"No deal has been finalised, so until that moment happens, it would be foolish of me to comment, so let's wait and see what happens in the next few days," Howe said.

"From our side, I have said from day one, I love working with Jermain. The relationship we have had, how professional he has been and for the group of players. As I say, no deal has been finalised, so let's see what happens."

Defoe will add experience and proven goalscoring ability to a Rangers squad which currently only has Alfredo Morelos and Kyle Lafferty as recognised strikers.

The London-born striker has scored more than 200 goals in a 20-year career featuring spells at West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Sunderland and Bournemouth, as well as Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.

Defoe, who also scored 20 goals in 57 outings for England, is expected to join Rangers on a forthcoming warm-weather training camp in Tenerife during the current winter break.

They return to action against Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup on Friday, 18 January, before facing Kilmarnock away in the Premiership five days later.

The terms of the deal mean Bournemouth will retain the option of recalling Defoe either this summer or in January 2020.

Rangers are also expected to re-sign Southampton's Northern Ireland midfielder Steven Davis, with talks continuing over either a loan or permanent deal.

'A great move for Defoe' - Analysis

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 live:

"I think it is a great move for Defoe going up to Scotland. Kenny Miller has done great work in showing what you can do at that sort of age. He won't be asked to play every single week for Rangers, or 90 minutes in every game.

"Rangers are up there level with Celtic and pushing them all the way, and they appear to be strengthening. If they manage to keep hold of Alfredo Morelos as well, it will be a real sign they are going for this league, and will have a half-decent chance. But I still think they are second-favourites after Celtic though."

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