By Doug Ward

14th Jan, 2022 | 9:23am

Ferguson suggests Rangers bust-up ahead of Defoe exit in last 48hrs

Barry Ferguson feels there could have been a behind-the-scenes fall-out with Jermain Defoe ahead of his exit from Rangers this week.

On Wednesday [12 January], the Gers confirmed that Defoe, 39, had left Ibrox despite agreeing a player-coach contract in the summer when Steven Gerrard was in charge.

Ex-Gers star Ferguson is baffled by Defoe’s sudden exclusion from the first-team under Gerrard and finds something odd about how the striker was axed from Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s squad and coaching team this week.

Writing for the Daily Record, Ferguson said: “There is something a bit strange about the way it all ended for Defoe. For whatever reason, he seemed to fall out of the picture almost overnight under the previous manager.

“One minute he was signing a new contract, appointed onto the coaching staff and taking a seat on the bench with the rest of the Gerrard’s back-room team, the next he was sitting in a Sky TV studio at Old Trafford when Rangers were in action up the road.

“I’m sure I wasn’t the only one baffled by this but it just didn’t seem to sit right.

“I don’t know if there was a fall-out of some sort behind the scenes but it did feel as if Rangers weren’t getting enough out of him. Even at his age he was still capable of contributing more than he did.”

Something fishy?

We doubt there was a fall-out that led to Defoe’s exit.

The ex-England striker may have decided he wanted to join Gerrard’s coaching team in the summer with the understanding that he wouldn’t play much and the change of management in November led to his exit.

If Gerrard was still here, Defoe might be too.

It was handy just to have him available to play every now and then but we get why Ferguson thinks something may be amiss as the striker was in most squads last season and this term, he played just eight minutes in two Scottish Premiership outings.

But we also feel as though Defoe may have had a change of heart himself.

He’s started to appear more regularly as a pundit south of the border, working for both Sky Sports and ITV in recent weeks.

Defoe was spotted in the Sky Sports studio at Old Trafford while Rangers were playing, which to us suggested that his priorities no longer lay at Ibrox.

However it ended for Defoe, we’re going to wish him all the best and will always be grateful for his spell at the club.

In other Rangers news, clubs are in talks to sign this Gers star who may be sold for a “small fee” this month.