By Doug Ward

13th Jan, 2021 | 4:30pm

Gerrard wants to sign £5m+ Liverpool forward at Rangers - report

Rangers are in the hunt to sign Liverpool centre-forward Taiwo Awoniyi but face competition from Celtic and clubs in the Premier League, according to 90min.

Awoniyi, 23, has been in good form on loan at Union Berlin this season, scoring five goals in 13 Bundesliga appearances with one of them coming in a shock 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund.

The Nigeria Under-23s international signed for Liverpool in 2015 but has failed to make a single appearance for the Merseyside club due to him not having a work permit to play in England.

However, 90min suggests that Awoniyi is close to getting a call-up to the senior Nigeria squad, which will help him obtain a work permit, while regulations in Scotland are not as strict as south of the border, using Alfredo Morelos’ 2017 move to Ibrox as an example.

It is understood that if he does move on from Liverpool, the Premier League holders are hoping to pocket over £5million for a player who’s never played for them.

Future Morelos replacement?

Awoniyi’s loan deal at Union Berlin doesn’t expire until the end of the season so it’s very unlikely that Rangers will be able to sign him this month.

However, there’s a chance that the Nigerian striker is being lined up as a replacement for Morelos, who has been strongly linked with leaving Ibrox for what seems like a very long time now.

Jermain Defoe’s contract also expires in the summer so Steven Gerrard could find himself down two strikers and some money to burn if Morelos’ sale does eventually happen.

Awoniyi is someone who Gerrard is likely to be aware of due to his connection to Liverpool and it’s not as though Stevie G hasn’t called upon his former club to sign players from in his spell in charge at Ibrox.

Awoniyi has done well in Berlin this term.

According to stats by Wyscout, Awoniyi ranks 17th in the Bundesliga for xG per 90 minutes this season [0.54], which is not bad considering he’s completed a full league game on just two occasions this term. It also ranks him higher than Marco Reus and Bas Dost.

In other Rangers news, Tom English has made a claim about the Light Blues amid a major controversy surrounding rivals Celtic.