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Rangers forward Fashion Sakala to hold talks with manager over future after rejecting loan moves


FASHION Sakala has stated that he has no interest in leaving Rangers on loan after being linked with moves to Auxerre, Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad this summer.

However, the Zambian forward has revealed he is set to hold talks with his manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst in the coming days because he is uncertain about his future at Ibrox.

The 25-year-old joined the Glasgow giants on a free transfer from Oostende in Belgium last summer and netted 12 goals and provided 15 assists in all competitions in the 2021/22 campaign.

But he was mostly used as a substitute by Van Bronckhorst, who replaced Steven Gerrard as manager in November, and has been tipped to leave and get regular game time in recent weeks.

Sakala, who came on in the Europa League final in Seville in May, has stressed that he wants to remain in Govan and will have discussions with the Dutchman in the coming days.

“Obviously I am very happy to be here,” he said. “All this talk about loans? I don’t think I can go on loan. I am not looking at loan moves.

“There is no need for me to go on loan because my first season was not bad. I scored 12 goals in all competitions and that was my adaptation season. Now I have to prepare myself to do better this season.

“If I hadn’t got the chance last season or if I had not scored a single goal then I would have said: ‘Okay, I need to make a move, I need to go’. Because for me, I can be here at this big club, but if I am not playing then it does not mean anything.

“Last season was okay. It could have been better, but I was mostly on the bench and coming all the time is difficult. I think players understand that to do so is not easy. When you do that, the game is on another level and rhythm is not the same.”

Sakala added: “I haven’t had a meeting with him (Van Bronckhorst), but I think they had a meeting with my manager and he said he wants me, he wants me to be part of the club.

“I am expecting a meeting any time soon and I hope to hear his views. This is something I am looking forward to because we are starting a competition and I want to know where I am standing because I don’t know at the moment. ”

Van Bronkhorst, who has strengthened his squad with Welsh winger Rabbi Matondo and Croatian striker Antonio Colak this summer, told Sakala last season after he arrived that he will mostly be used out wide.

The forward has since tried to adapt his game.

“When I came here for Gerrard I was told not to be a winger,” he said. “I can also play as a winger, but I was told to play as a No 9. Those were the reasons why I came.

“I had games with Gerrard. I think since I came here I have played three games in a row where I played 90 minutes. Then when he left I knew the formation would change.

“Back then, I already had some doubts. But when Gio came we had a meeting and he told me that for him I am not going to play as a striker because he likes big strikers.

“That is something I respect because every coach has views about the players. Now I am being told to play more as a winger which is something I have to work on. I am working on it, but I am not really a winger, I am more like a speed striker.”

Van Bronckhorst only has one fit striker in Colak just now because Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe are working their way back to fitness after injuries. However, Sakala does not believe that he will feature regularly in his favoured position in the long-term and is focusing on improving his wing play.

“Alfredo is not yet fit, Roofe is not yet back so I start thinking maybe this will be my chance to play as a striker,” he said.

“But Alfredo is the main player of the team, he is like a superstar. When he comes back then what would be my position?

“All of these questions come into my thinking. I don’t know if I should be preparing just in case Alfredo is not in the squad or should I prepare for the whole season?

“Because when he comes back I am not going to be counted as a striker. So I have to prepare myself for a position where I will be playing the whole season.

“So even if they aren’t back I am not viewing myself as a striker. I just want to work on the positions where I feel like I might get chances to play.

“Because we have Colak, we have Roofe and we have Alfredo. These are the strikers that we have. If I put myself there then I will be the fourth option. So I don’t want to pressure myself thinking I am a striker. ”

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