Although it looks unlikely that Leeds United will get their hands on Glasgow Rangers ace Ryan Kent this year, Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard is not expecting interest to decrease in his “fantastic player” any time soon.
On 21 August, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard told BBC Sport that the Whites had contacted them over Kent, but said their opening bid was “strongly rejected” and sought to make it clear he is “not for sale”.
The following day, the Scottish Sun claimed that the Elland Road side was not ready to give up the fight for the talented attacker, and were prepared to increase their offer to £14million.
Since then, speculation linking Kent with Leeds has petered out somewhat, with the Whites now reportedly looking at the likes of Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul and Dinamo Zagreb’s Josko Gvardiol.
Last week, it looked as though the saga was finally put to bed as Leeds Live reported that the 23-year-old and his representatives told Victor Orta that he’s not currently interested in a switch south of the border.
However, Gerrard acknowledges that a player of Kent’s calibre is going to keep having suitors after him, even though the manager sought to make it clear that his player is happy where he is.
“He’s really happy and settled here,” Gerrard is quoted by Sky Sports as saying. “He’s had a full pre-season under his belt and his red card against Lyon aside, he’s been fantastic to watch and work with.
“Ryan is on a very good contract. He has remained professional, his application has been top class every day since we returned. He hasn’t let any interest affect him. He’s used it as a compliment that people are enjoying what they’re seeing in terms of his form.
“He’s scoring goals and looking very dangerous… we hope that Ryan remains in the place he’s in. He’s happy, settled and is enjoying his football. He is going to get more interest, we’re going to get more phone calls over Ryan Kent because he’s a fantastic player.”
It’s understandable that Rangers don’t want to let Kent go, with such a great start to such an important season, with a 55th title, plus stopping Celtic getting their hands on a 10th consecutive crown, at stake.
Leeds seem to have regrouped and focused on other targets, so it looks as though that’ll be it for this summer in terms of getting their hands on a player Jurgen Klopp has previously described as “wonderful”.
That said, we all know football throws up some surprises now and then, particularly in the transfer market, and even if Kent stays at Rangers this summer, could circumstances change by next year that could make a switch – to Leeds or elsewhere – more likely?