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‘COVID CULPRIT’ ZUNGU’S GERS MOVE IN JEOPARDY

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BONGANI ZUNGU, one of the five Rangers players who broke Covid-19 protocols last weekend, has jeopardised his chances of a permanent move to Ibrox.

The South African midfielder, along with Calvin Bassey, Nathan Patterson, Dapo Mebude and Brian Kinnear, has been reprimanded by Steven Gerrard and the club and are now awaiting punishment from the SFA and SPFL.

At the very least, they can expect seven-games bans from the beaks – the same suspensions handed out to Gers duo Jordan Jones and George Edmunston for a similar breach of government guidelines earlier in the season.

Zungu is currently on loan from Amiens until the end of the season, with Gerrard having an option to buy the midfielder for around £2.6million.

When asked if he did his chances of earning a deal no favours, Gerrard replied: “I think that would be fair to say, yes.”

Quizzed how the rest of his squad have reacted to the incident, the gaffer answered: “That will take care of itself and we’ll move forward with the players who have remained professional and want to be part of a successful team.

“We spoke as a group and I explained the situation to them.

“We’re at such an important time of the season with the fixtures coming up that we can’t be worrying about it or letting our focus slide.”

Gerrard’s side, 4-3 ahead after the first leg, are in pole position to qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League and are just four wins away from the title.

The Liverpool legend, speaking to the media, added: “Europe is very important to us. The league is the bread and butter, but Europe is so important.

“I would love to have a domestic Cup on my CV, but, financially, this club doesn’t function how we want it to without European funds.

“In years to come we may be capable of competing for European trophies, but we have to be careful we don’t look too far ahead. We understand the supporters can get excited, but we also have to be realistic about where we are.

“We have put ourselves in a really strong position against Antwerp to go and finish the job off.

“We’ll take each challenge as it comes, but there’s no harm in aiming as high as you can.”

The next challenge for Rangers is the visit of Dundee United this afternoon where they have the opportunity of moving 18 points ahead of Celtic as they bid for their first championship in a decade.

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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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