Lafferty leaves Rangers by mutual consent
Photo credit:(Gettyimages/Ian MacNicol)

Kyle Lafferty has left Rangers after his contract at Ibrox was terminated after less than a year.

The 31-year-old striker had joined the Glasgow side on a two-year deal from Hearts in August 2018 but is now a free agent after failing to re-capture the form of his first spell in Govan.

Success in two other spells in Scotland

Lafferty previously enjoyed a four-year stint in Glasgow with the Gers a decade ago, as well spending a successful 2017-18 season with Hearts. 

However, despite scoring six goals in 30 appearances for the Ibrox side in 2018-19, the forward was unable to recapture his previous form. Rangers manager Steven Gerrard remarked that the striker had only shown brief flashes of his true ability.

‘Brutal truth’

Gerrard told reporters: “You’d need to ask Kyle why it hasn’t panned out for him. We had high hopes for him because, when he signed, he was in a really good place. But, for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out. Kyle is a good player, but showing it in glimpses for Rangers isn’t enough. That’s the brutal truth.” 

Lafferty’s future destination remains a mystery, with the Northern Ireland forward likely to have to accept a pay cut to stay in the SPFL.

The much-travelled Northern Irishman - a talisman for his national side - has previously also had spells in England with Burnley, Darlington, Norwich and Birmingham City, as well turning out for clubs in Italy, Switzerland and Turkey.

The striker had previously flourished back in Scotland with Heart of Midlothian before re-joining Rangers, prompting speculation of a return to the Edinburgh club. 

However, Tynecastle boss Craig Levein immediately dismissed suggestions of a return to Gorgie, telling BBC Scotland “I believe in the strikers we've got that they will score goals. Once we get Steven Naismith and Jamie Walker up to speed, I'm not worried about that side of things.”

Gerrard’s decision to dispense with Lafferty’s services is likely to increase speculation that star striker Alfredo Morelos may be set to remain at the club for at least one more season, with the Colombian and veteran Jermaine Defoe set to lead the line.