STEVEN GERRARD has sent a personal message of thanks to Jermain Defoe after the veteran striker called time on his Rangers career.

The 39-year-old has left the Scottish champions after making just two appearances this season, although he had been helping out in a coaching capacity and was part of an interim management team following the departure of Gerrard to Aston Villa.

The former Ibrox boss posted on Instagram saying: "What a player, what a man. Class"

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Defoe joined Rangers, initially on loan, from AFC Bournemouth in the January 2019 transfer window.

The ex-Tottenham and Portsmouth forward netted 32 goals in 74 appearances after joining from Bournemouth, initially on loan, in January 2019.

Sporting director Ross Wilson told Rangers’ website: “Jermain has made a significant contribution to Rangers over the last number of seasons.

“Even in the twilight years of his career, he has shown the expert movement and finishing ability that took him to the very top in his career. His contribution within the training centre was excellent as he became a role model for his peers, showing professionalism on a daily basis.

“I was particularly pleased that he leaves with a league championship winning medal. It has been a privilege to have an England international of his quality within our group and we wish him well for the future.”