JERMAIN DEFOE is on his way out of Rangers – and is set to focus on his new career as a TV pundit
The 39-year-old striker’s departure has been confirmed as manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst reshapes his attack for the second half of the season.
Defoe is reportedly leaving Rangers after three years at the clubCredit: Willie Vass
Rangers today issued a statement that said: “Everyone at the club would again like to thank Jermain for his contribution and wish him and his family every success for the future.”
Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson said: “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 leaves 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.”
The former West Ham and Tottenham star – who took on a player-coach role in the summer – has made only two appearances for the Scottish champions this season.
And after van Bronckhorst brought in his own backroom team with coaches Roy Makaay, former Ajax youth expert Dave Vos, Yori Bosschaart and Arno Phillps joining Rangers, Defoe was told to focus on his role as a player.
He has scored 32 goals in 74 appearances since joining the Light Blues in 2019.
But he has now called time on his career in Glasgow to pursue TV work.
Defoe has appeared as a studio pundit on Sky’s coverage of the Premier League, even at the same time as Rangers have been playing.
Defoe scored 20 goals in 57 appearances for England between 2004 and 2017.
Last year he got engaged to beauty therapist Donna Tierney after presenting her with a stunning diamond ring.
Jermain Defoe is set to focus on his TV pundit workCredit: Rex
Last year he got engaged to beauty therapist Donna Tierney
His departure comes as Swiss star Cedric Itten returns to Rangers.
Itten joined Bundesliga new boys Greuther Furth on a season-long loan deal on deadline day last summer.
But Rangers held the right to recall him in January and they have now triggered that option.
The two moves are NOT linked, however, with Defoe’s exit strategy thrashed out last month by Ibrox bosses.
In his five months in Germany, Itten bagged two goals for Greuther Furth – including one against Bayern Munich.
Jermain Defoe has 57 caps for EnglandCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Speaking previously about Defoe, Rangers boss van Bronckhorst said: “He’s been really good.
“When I came here, of course he was part of the coaching staff, but also a player.
“He’s also busy with his training badges, which is really good because we’ve already started thinking about team processes and tactical possibilities.
“But, for now, Jermain is still a player and we’ll use him only as a player.”