OUT-OF-CONTRACT Rangers centre half Leon Balogun has revealed he is desperate to stay at Rangers following the Ibrox club’s emotional Scottish Cup triumph.

Balogun helped the Glasgow giants bounce back from their Europa League final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday night with a 2-0 win over Hearts at Hampden today.

The Nigerian internationalist’s current deal expires this summer, but he confirmed he is eager to sign an extension and return for the 2022/23 campaign.   

He believes the Scottish Cup win will be the first of many trophy successes under Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, who replaced Steven Gerrard as manager last year, and is keen to be involved in them. 

“Everyone who watches me around the club knows I’ve fallen in love with this club,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of downs in my career. That’s why me and Rangers are a good fit.

“Even in the final, I had to go through this and the support was outstanding. I would love to stay. I hope they know that and I hope I can announce something soon.”

Balogun added: “There are a lot of great things about Rangers. If you look at the season, it wasn’t easy. We lost our manager halfway through and had to regroup with a new manager, who has his own ideas. It’s not easy, but we showed we have great resilience and can play great football 

“It will help the manager to have a full pre-season. He took over very solid foundations, but every manager has his own style and philosophy. I’m genuinely excited at what’s to come as we have made huge steps forward these last few months.”

Balogun was impressed with how Rangers performed in the wake of their loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in Spain on Wednesday night and was delighted to end a rollercoaster season on a high.

“It takes a lot of mental strength,” he said. “It might sound a bit weird, but I think everybody felt today didn’t matter.

“Obviously it does matter, but that was how much we wanted to win the European final. It’s something only a few players get the chance to do in their careers.

“But it is huge (to win the Scottish Cup) and the dressing room was buzzing. To play with legends like Steven Davis and Allan McGregor, you look in to their faces and see what it means to this club to finish with a trophy.

“At Rangers you are expected to win trophies, even if it’s not the Premiership."

Balogun added: “I think we deserved it. That was the main thing we said to ourselves.

“We had to suffer a lot of setbacks over the last few weeks with the league and the Europa League Final.

“I think we could feel that a little bit. We had to shake it off in the first half, but we did a tremendous job coming back in the second half and then in extra-time as well.

“It’s not easy. Most of the boys played 120 minutes (on Wednesday) so huge compliment to the guys. We deserved it and it was important to finish the season on a high.”