JOHN GILLIGAN reckons Rangers could afford to lose two of their title winning stars ahead of the defence of their Premiership crown next term.

Steven Gerrard will welcome Nnamdi Ofoborh and Fashion Sakala into his ranks when Rangers return for pre-season training in the coming weeks and step up their preparations for their Champions League return.

The Ibrox board could have to fend off interest in a number of Gerrard's prized assets following a terrific campaign at home and abroad last time out.

And former director Gilligan knows there is a balance to be struck heading into a hugely significant title race given the European rewards available at the end of it.

Gilligan said: "It is massive. Definitely. I think it will have a lot to do of how we hold the pool together.

"I think we get offers, a couple of players could go. But I think the squad is strong enough to be able to sell two players.

"You forget that this year we have Ryan Jack, if he can get through a pre-season and get fit, we only had half a season from him.

"If Katic can get fit, there is another player. Wright from Aberdeen, I think with a pre-season in him he could be a good player. We have Oforborh and Sakala coming in. We are OK.

"I think to be fair to the directors and the investors that we have, it was always the model to get to the point where… If you look back at the first interviews that Dave [King gave at the start, he said that we will lose money for three, four years, that it would take lots of money.

"People dismissed it but he was right enough. He knew we would lose money and Douglas [Park], him and George Taylor and George Letham that funded it, they knew they had to fund it properly with loans to shares.

"You can’t do that forever so the model is right. The value of the squad, the proof is in the pudding when someone buys someone, but Covid apart, I think the value of the squad would have been even higher."