BOB Malcolm is confident Steven Gerrard won’t lose any key men during the January transfer window - after seeing the Rangers board reject a £16m bid for Alfredo Morelos during the summer.

Ibrox first team regulars Borna Barisic, Glen Kamara, Ryan Kent, Morelos and James Tavernier have all attracted interest from England and across Europe in the past year as a result of their displays in domestic and continental competition.

Malcolm, who played for Derby County and Queens Park Rangers after leaving his boyhood heroes, has no doubt there will be bids tabled for members of the side that is 19 points clear in the Premiership and in the last 32 of the Europa League in the coming weeks.

However, the former centre half cum defensive midfielder reckons there is no chance of his old club’s bid to win their first Scottish title since 2011 being undermined by the loss of any important personnel.

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French club Lille had a multi-million pound offer for Colombian striker Morelos turned down during the summer even though chairman Douglas Park and vice-chairman John Bennett had to commit to investing £24 million in order for Rangers to continue as a going concern.

“For me, the biggest problem that Rangers will have now is fighting off clubs who are wanting to sign their players because they have been performing so well,” said Malcolm

“But the board made a big statement of intent by not letting Morelos or any other players go last year. There was also interest in Kent. In the past players were sold for under their valuation just so they could get money in. That isn’t the case now. They aren’t going to be held to ransom.

“In the past Celtic have sold players and made massive amounts of money on them. Rangers see their players in the same bracket. I don’t see why they shouldn’t be holding out for top dollar.”

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Malcolm, who won the Premier League twice during his seven years at Ibrox and is now assistant manager to his old team mate Barry Ferguson at ambitious Lowland League club Kelty Hearts, believes consistency of selection has been key to Rangers’ success in the 2020/21 campaign.

“Steven Gerrard is a young manager,” he said. “This is only his third season. Even though he was an unbelievable player he is still learning as a manager. He has got a good backroom staff there who are helping him.

“I think he realised that he was chopping and changing the team a bit, coming from European games to league games. He hasn’t done that so much this season. He has kept the back four together in most of the games.

“Centre backs (Filip) Helander and (Leon) Balogun have swapped about in European games and domestic games. But he has his core team that play week in, week out. That has been important for Rangers and will be going forward if they can hold on to all their players.”