JERMAIN DEFOE has signed a one-year deal at Rangers that will see him take on the role of player-coach.
The former England striker, 38, will take the next step in his career by upping his behind-the-scenes influence.
On signing his new deal, Defoe revealed his delight, telling the Rangers website: "It is well-documented how much I love the club and the relationship I have with the fans, the players and the staff at the club.
"So to get the deal over the line, I am just delighted.
"It is something I wanted to happen, even before the season finished, especially the way we finished the season with winning the league.
"It was the perfect time to be at the football club and it was so special, so to sign another contract as a player-coach, and to still be a part of it, it is an amazing feeling for me and my family.
"It is something different and it is something new for me, and first of all, I want to thank the board, Ross [Wilson] and the manager and all the staff that have made this happen.
"It is an unbelievable opportunity for me and it just shows the appreciation I get from everyone at the football club which is the best feeling in the world more than anything else.
"I can imagine once I get started, hopefully I will just flow into it and everything will happen quite naturally."
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, who played for the Three Lions, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be retaining the services of Jermain both as a player, and now also as a coach.
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“It is well-documented the relationship I have with him having known him for so many years.
"I am thrilled that he is going to be passing on his amazing experience and professionalism to the attacking players throughout the club.
“He has shown this season, however, what an asset he can still be for us on the pitch, and I won’t be afraid to use him when necessary.
"I look forward to Jermain’s return and him beginning his new role when pre-season begins at the end of the month."
Defoe has played 72 games for Rangers in all competitions since arriving on loan in January 2019, scoring 32 goals in the process.
And sporting director, Ross Wilson, revealed Defoe has fallen in love with the club since his move and has been a great influence around Ibrox.
He said: “Jermain Defoe has loved playing for Rangers and in particular the energy and passion of our fans.
"He’s one of the finest goal scorers of his generation, the ninth in English Premier League history and his record for Rangers speaks for itself.
“Jermain will now transition towards the next part of his career into a player-coach role and I am delighted we have reached an agreement to restructure his contract to reflect this.
“JD’s popularity and influence on our squad is clear while our academy players and particularly young attacking players will only learn and develop by working with someone of his calibre.
"I’m delighted that his positive influence will continue and I am sure extend.”
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