Rangers striker Jermain Defoe leaves Ibrox after three years as Cedric Itten recalled from Bundesliga loan spell
Defoe joined the Ibrox club in January 2019 from Bournemouth and scored 32 goals in 74 appearances during his time in Glasgow
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The 39-year-old, who was handed a player/coach role in the summer by previous Light Blues boss Steven Gerrard, has made two substitute appearances for the Gers this season.
The arrival of Giovanni van Bronckhorst as the club’s new manager in November saw the former England international stripped from the role, with the Dutchman bringing in his own backroom staff.
Defoe joined Rangers in January 2019 and would go on to score 32 goals in 74 appearances, but it is now expected he will hang up his boots to pursue television work as a pundit.
The Scottish Sun claim Defoe’s exit strategy was thrashed out last month by Gers officials and the news has since been confirmed by the club on social media:
Defoe played an important role in helping the club secure a 55th Premiership title last season and has since had a big influence off the park for team-mates and youngsters all over the pitch.
Sporting Director, Ross Wilson stated: “Jermain has made a significant contribution to Rangers over the last number of seasons.
“Even in the ‘twilight years’ of his career, he has shown the expert movement and finishing ability that took him to the very top in his career.
“His contribution within the training centre was excellent, as he became a role model for his peers, showing professionalism on a daily basis.
“I was particularly pleased that he leave with a league championship winning medal. It has been a privilege to have an England international of his quality within our group and we wish him well for the future.”
Defoe’s departure from the Scottish champions will see Swiss frontman Cedric Itten recalled from his loan spell at newly-promoted Bundesliga outfit Greuther Furth.
Itten completed a deadline day season-long switch to Germany in the summer due to his lack of game-time in Glasgow but Rangers have triggered their right to recall him this month as Van Bronckhorst re-shuffles his attack for the remainder of the campaign.
The 25-year-old scored two goals in 12 appearances, including one against league leaders Bayern Munich during his five month stint in Bavaria and earned a recall to the international set-up.
Van Bronckhorst and his coaching team will now have the chance to run the rule over Itten ahead of the Scottish Premiership title run-in.
Sporting Director, Ross Wilson commented: “Gio was aware of Cedric’s profile as a player prior to the confirmation of his appointment as Rangers manager.
“In recent weeks, we have discussed the possibility of bringing Cedric back into the group and following a chat with him at the weekend, we have done just that.
“Clearly Cedric knows the club well, know what winning here feels like and he joins a squad that he is already a popular member of.”