RANGERS manager Steven Gerrard says that he is hoping to keep Jermain Defoe at the club for as long as possible, following the striker’s admission that he is keen on extending his stay in Glasgow.

The former England forward, who turned 37 last week, has been in sensational form so far this term and bagged a hat-trick against Hamilton in the win at Ibrox last Sunday.

He was quoted on the morning of that game stating his desire to make his loan move from Bournemouth a permanent one at the end of his contract with the Cherries in the summer, and Gerrard is more than open to the possibility.

“If he stays in the form he’s in then of course I would want him around here for as long as possible,” Gerrard said.

“It’s definitely something that’s on all our minds as a staff and a club.

“He’s in terrific form. I’m sure he’s frustrated with me in terms of his game time at the moment - which I love. That’s what I love about him. He wants to play every minute.

“He’s just as hungry now as he was when I bumped into him probably around 22, 23. First on the training pitch, last off.

“That’s the reason why I think he can go on because he’s still got the hunger and the drive to carry on.

"Jermain will be satisfied with his appearances if he stays fit and in this form come the end of the season. I’ve told him that, to keep going.

“He’s a huge help to us. Having two forwards in form at the moment is fantastic for myself.’

Gerrard and Defoe have held positive initial talks about the forward’s ongoing role at the club, which could include a remit to coach the younger Rangers forwards as well as playing on himself.

“Possibly,” Gerrard said. “We are open to that side of Jermain.

“I can help centre forwards, of course I can. That’s why I am in the game. But Jermain Defoe will know certain situations in a game and certain things to look out for in his specific position more than any coach in the world.

“Because he’s doing it every day and he’s learned from playing against these defenders, different defenders. The quick ones, the aggressive ones. Jermain Defoe has got a catalogue of knowledge that he can pass on.

“Now whether that ends up being with us as a staff or out there, I would love to see him carry on giving something back to the game.

“But he’s still got so much to offer as a player just yet.”