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CANDEIAS HEADS FOR EXIT

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STEVEN GERRARD has conformed Daniel Candeias is on the brink of quitting Rangers.

The Portuguese winger is in line for a sensational switch to Turkish top-flight outfit Genclerbirligi.

Gerrard and Director of Football Mark Allen met with the one-time Benfica prospect in midweek for talks where the 31-year-old attacker made it clear he was looking for a guaranteed first-team place.

The Ibrox boss, who saw his side hammer Gibraltar part-timers St Jospeh’s 6-0 in their Europa League qualifier last night, could make no such agreement – especially after bringing in Sheyi Ojo, Greg Stewart and Jake Hastie to provide competition on the right flank.

HAT-TRICK STAR…Alfredo Morelos with the match ball.

Gerrard, speaking to the Sunday Post, admitted: “I had a conversation with Daniel and he said he wanted to go and speak to a team in Turkey. We’ve had an approach and we had a real adult conversation.

“I said I wanted him to stay and fight for the shirt and be part of the squad, but he said he wants to go and explore the situation in Turkey, so we reluctantly but respectfully granted him permission.

“He’s a good man and been a good servant, so he’s going to speak to the club and we’ll see how that one develops.

“I have to respect Daniel and keep a lot of the conversation private, but it boils down to him wanting to be a regular starter as in every single game.

“At his age, he doesn’t want to be part of the squad and fight for the shirt without any guarantees, so we have to respect his decision, but it was Daniel’s decision to explore this interest.”

TWO-GOAL MARKSMAN…Jermaine Defoe struck a double.

The Gers gaffer added: “My gut feeling is that he wants to move on. The financial side of it isn’t my business, but since I’ve walked in the door I only want people who are prepared to fight for the shirt and nobody is guaranteed to start.

“I want people prepared to fight tooth and nail to be part of the XI. Daniel’s not the best sub and I understand because I wanted to play ever game as a player.”

Meanwhile, during the European action, new boy Joe Aribo put the Light Blues ahead early while an Alfredo Morelos hat-trick and Jermain Defoe’s double sealed a 10-goal aggregate triumph.

That win sets up the side for a revenge clash with Progres Neiderkorn, who dumped Pedro Caixinha’s side from the competition two years ago.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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