By Sam Stone

24th May, 2023 | 1:10pm

£18m gone at Rangers after end-of-May Ibrox development

Well, the news is finally out, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos will depart Rangers when their contracts expire at the end of the 2022/23 season.

Michael Beale has tried his hardest to pull the wool over the fanbase’s eyes, but we all knew this conclusion was coming. Quite frankly, their departures needed to happen.

The duo have been superb during their time at the club, but over the course of the last campaign, performance levels have dropped significantly.

They will leave with the well-wishes of the Ibrox faithful, but their exits now confirm a loss at Ibrox. In December 2022, Ross Wilson confirmed (The Times, 6 December) that Rangers had turned down a bid for Morelos. Furthermore, Sevilla saw a £7million offer knocked back in the summer of 2022 (El Chiringuito TV, 22 June 2022).

Kent has also been of keen interest to a number of Premier League clubs. The Scottish Sun reported in 2021, that Leeds United saw an £11million bid knocked back for the flying winger. So, overall, at their peak, the duo could have earnt Rangers in the region of £18million.

The decision to allow the pair to run their contracts down has left its mark financially. It’s now absolutely essential for Beale and the board to avoid a similar scenario from occurring, even on a smaller scale.

Borna Barisic and John Lunstram are both out of contract in the summer. It should be a case of sign-up or be sold. Rangers cannot lose players for free in the future. Kent and Morelos have been extremely disappointing during the 2022/23 season. Their heads have clearly been elsewhere.

This saga has to be a lesson to the board. It’s one they must learn from.

In other Rangers news, Sky Sports journalist Andrew Dickson gives his take after Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent depart Ibrox.