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Liverpool miss out on multi-million windfall after ‘lied to’ transfer accusations



Liverpool miss out on multi-million windfall after ‘lied to’ transfer accusations

Liverpool have missed out on a multi-million pound windfall after Rangers confirmed Ryan Kent would leave Ibrox at the end of his contract this summer.

The winger joined the ‘Gers permanently in the summer of 2019 in an initial £6.5m deal, having enjoyed a successful 2018/19 season on loan at the club under Steven Gerrard as he was crowned the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year.

Able to bank a further £1m in achievable bonuses, the Reds also negotiated a 20% sell-on clause as part of the deal. This was regarded as important with club bosses believing Kent’s potential would see him ultimately return to the Premier League.

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However, the Scottish giants confirmed on Wednesday that the 26-year-old is one of five players who will depart the club when their contracts expire. With Kent leaving on a Bosman transfer, Liverpool won’t pocket anything as a result.

Speaking about the winger’s imminent exit, Rangers boss, and former Reds coach, Michael Beale said: “Ryan came in as an unknown, and he was a young player that I knew from Liverpool who had been out on a lot of loans.

“We brought him in because we knew he could be exciting and take players on. He plays with real energy for the team and has moments of magic. The big thing about Ryan is that he plays for the team, he works very hard in every game.

“He’s had some outstanding moments in big games, both domestically, certainly in Old Firm games, and in Europe. He’s helped take our club back into Europe and become a strong team in European competition.

“At 26, Ryan needs this opportunity to go play somewhere else and find that motivation and energy again. We wish him really well.”

Kent has made 218 appearances for Rangers over the past five seasons, scoring 33 goals and registering 57 assists. Enjoying his best season in 2020/21 as Rangers won the Scottish Premiership for the first time in 10 years, he also won the Scottish Cup with the club last season.

Meanwhile, he also impressed in Europe throughout his time north of the border, helping the ‘Gers reach the Europa League final last year, and started home and away against Liverpool in the Champions League group-stages this season. However, he has ultimately endured a frustrating couple of campaigns in Scotland, as demonstrated by Beale’s words regarding the departing forward.

It remains to be seen where Kent will end up, though recent reports in Turkey have claimed he has spurned offers from newly promoted Premier League sides Burnley and Sheffield United in favour of a switch to Fenerbahce. Everton and AFC Bournemouth, plus Leeds United, who have a long-standing interest in the winger, have also been linked.

Leeds actually had a £4.5m bid rejected for Kent in the summer of 2019, the day before the English transfer window shut. The Reds had also received enquiries from a number of foreign clubs and rejected a £5m offer from Russian side Krasnodar, with clubs from France and Belgium, including Club Brugge, also tracking the player at the time.

Gerrard had also been keen to bring Kent back to Ibrox after the player’s impressive loan spell, but was put off by the Reds’ initial £12m price tag. As a result, a £6.5m switch wasn’t agreed until deadline day in the Scottish transfer window, after the English market had already shut.

Speaking after the move, Kent hit out at Liverpool for delaying his transfer as he accused club bosses of ‘lying’ to him after being denied a full pre-season with Rangers.

“It was very tough (being frozen out at Liverpool),” he said at the time. “I had to stay mentally strong. When you are told you can do one thing and then you are lied to and it doesn’t happen, that is quite hard to take.

“I just had to keep myself fit and train on my own and make sure I keep my fitness levels up and I was waiting for a moment like this to arrive.

“There’s no bitter taste, the thing that I wanted from the start happened at the end so I am just happy with that.

“I would have liked to have been here (with Rangers) from the start, it is quite difficult watching it on the TV wishing I was part of some of the games, but I am delighted to be back and I can’t wait to get going.

“There were probably some slight concerns along the way when I thought this might not happen and I might have to plan for something else, but I always had a feeling that it might go to the last day of the window and that’s what happened.”

He continued: “I’m in a privileged position in life to be playing football, it’s every kid’s dream. And I think it’s naive to not enjoy that position in life. I’m fortunate to be in that position in life.

“For once in my life to be feeling at home somewhere, to be actually enjoying my football, I want that feeling for the rest of my career. I felt that for the first time when I came here.

“The manager believes in me and the coaching staff. Mick Beale had me as a kid at Liverpool and he got the best out of me then and I really started to flourish as a young kid coming through at Liverpool, and obviously the fans get the best out of you.

“So just everything as a collective at this football club I think gets the best out of me and my football.”


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