Ryan Kent will have no regrets about his decision to leave Liverpool permanently in the summer of 2019.
Following a successful year on loan at Rangers, and after previous temporary stints with Coventry City, Barnsley, Freiburg and Bristol City, the winger had grown frustrated at his lack of opportunities at Anfield, having only ever made one appearance for the Reds, and decided it was time to move on.
However, he had to be patient throughout the entire summer transfer window before he was able to get his move.
Attracting interest from several potential suitors, Liverpool received enquires from a number of foreign clubs and rejected a £5m offer from Russian side Krasnodar as sides failed to meet their £12m asking price.
Clubs from France and Belgium, including Club Brugge, were also tracking the player, while the Reds also rejected a £4.5m bid from Leeds United the day before the English summer transfer window shut.
In the end he was granted his desired return to Rangers in September 2019, completing a £7.5m move in the final hours of the Scottish window.
Enduring an injury-plagued first permanent season at Ibrox, Kent still managed eight goals from 33 appearances including the opener in Rangers’ first Old Firm win over Celtic at Parkhead since 2010 and a famous European winner away at Braga.
However, the winger has reached new levels this season for Steven Gerrard‘s side as they won a first league title since 2011 to end Celtic’s 10-in-a-row dreams in their tracks and shone in Europe before suffering a Europa League round-of-16 exit.
Boasting 12 goals from 50 appearances, Kent played a leading role in Rangers’ 4-1 victory over Celtic on Sunday, setting up the opening goal for Kemar Roofe, and such form continues to see him linked with a return to the Premier League.
And Liverpool could be about to benefit.
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As part of the deal that took Kent to Rangers, the Reds received £6.5m upfront, with a further £1m possible in achievable bonuses, while they also negotiated a 20% sell-on clause with club bosses confident the winger would return to the Premier League one day.
It appears Liverpool’s prediction could be about to come true this summer.
Interest from Leeds United has never gone away with Gerrard confirming Marcelo Bielsa’s side had a bid for the winger rejected last summer.
Speaking on Kent’s future back in August, the Liverpool legend said: “The message for sure is “hands off,” he said.
“Ryan is a player we admire very much here. He’s a player we’ve seen develop at Liverpool for a long time then brought him here and he did ever so well on loan.
“We went and bought Ryan and showed a lot of faith in him and he’s progressing very, very quickly here. He’s in a good place and a player we want to keep hold of.
“But yes we have had contact from Leeds and an opening bid has been really strongly rejected.”
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Recent reports suggest Leeds are again revisiting that interest, plotting a £15m bid, though Kent remained a coy about a possible summer exit when speaking before Rangers’ most-recent victory over Celtic.
“It’s just about playing in the now,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s nice to be linked with other big clubs, but you’ve got to understand your duty to where you are.
“As long as I’m at Rangers, I’ll give 100 per cent to the club. “I love this place, it’s done so much for me, so as long as I’m here, my mind is solely focused on Rangers.”
Whether Kent remains at Rangers this summer or not remains to be seen, with the possibility of Champions League football next season awaiting at Ibrox, but the Gers are set to make a healthy profit when he does decide to leave the club.
And whenever that day may be, Liverpool are guaranteed to profit as a result thanks to their constant faith in the winger’s talents despite him failing to make the breakthrough at Anfield.
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