STEVEN GERRARD has allowed winger Daniel Candeias to hold talks with Genclerbirligi after he expressed his desire to leave Rangers this summer.

The Portuguese is closing in on a switch to Turkey after holding talks with Gerrard and Director of Football Mark Allen this week.

Gerrard was keen to retain the services of Candeias and have the 31-year-old fight for a place in his Gers squad this term.

But Candeias has chosen to explore other options after being left out of the group for the Europa League first qualifying round tie with St Joseph’s.

“I had a conversation on Wednesday with Daniel and he said he wanted to go and speak to a team in Turkey,” Gerrard said after the 6-0 win at Ibrox. “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 in Turkey 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.”

Candeias has been a key member of the Rangers squad since moving to Ibrox during the ill-fated reign of countryman Pedro Caixinha.

He is one of the few players to have survived the sweeping changes that have been implemented since but faced increasing competition for his starting spot this term.

Gerrard has added wide men Jordan Jones, Jake Hastie and Sheyi Ojo to his squad, while he retains an interest in another loan move for Ryan Kent.

And it is increasingly likely that Candeias will have no further part to play this term after making what looks like his farewell appearance against Marseille at the weekend.

Gerrard said: “Myself and Mark Allen sat in front of him and echoed that we’d like him to stay so we’ll see how it develops in the next 24 to 48 hours.

“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. I really respect him as a person and where he’s at in his career.

‘He’s not the best sub and I understand because I wanted to play ever game as a player. But I made it quite clear I wanted him to stay but respected his decision and I’ll never stand in anyone’s way if they want to speak to another team."

It was Hastie and fellow summer signing Greg Stewart that provided the support to Alfredo Morelos against St Joseph’s as Rangers rounded off their first round qualifier with ease.

Morelos hit a hat-trick at Ibrox after Joe Aribo had opened the scoring and Jermain Defoe came off the bench to net twice as the Light Blues cruised to an emphatic 10-0 aggregate victory to set up a tie with Progres Niederkorn.

Gerrard said: “The first half was quite boring, slow and predictable but the second half was really entertaining and much better.

“Certain people in the starting were quite nervous and tentative and went for the safe option but we were a lot more positive in the second half and entertained the fans.

“When I watch the game back I’ll be a lot more pleased with the second half than the first. When we got into crossing positions we crossed it and when we got the chance to combine and get a shot off we did it.

“I expected us to be better in the first half and the crowd went a bit flat but we were responsible for that. The onus was on us to play quicker and be more positive.”