Eddie Howe has told the Bournemouth Echo that no decision will be made on Jermain Defoe’s future until the end of the season.
That leaves Rangers forced to play a waiting game over the experienced striker.
The ex-England man is due to stay at Ibrox until the end of next season but the Cherries do hold an option to bring him back in the summer.
Defoe has done okay for Steven Gerrard’s team, netting six goals in 15 appearances for the Gers.
Given his undoubted goalscoring prowess, Gerrard would love to have him as part of his squad next season.
Howe, however, won’t be making a decision until the summer.
He told the Bournemouth Echo: “We’re so engrossed in what we’re doing here that we haven’t sat down to discuss anything on that side yet.
“It’s one for the summer, but I am pleased to see Jermain doing so well.”
The 36-year-old striker would be keen on extending his Ibrox stay.
He told the Bournemouth Echo: “I want to stay. I’d love a full season here to try and achieve something special.”
At 36 it seems unlikely that Bournemouth will include Defoe as part of their plans next season.
The striker’s time in the Premier League is now surely at an end and it is no surprise he wants to stay at Rangers.
Gerrard will relish the chance to get a full pre-season out of Defoe and then hopefully use him as a big player for his team next season.
The Cherries’ current form is a concern for Howe.
He knows that next summer is a massive one if he is to ensure that his team doesn’t struggle during 2019/20.
As a result, Defoe represents too much of a risk given his age and letting him stay with Rangers looks best for all parties.