Leon Balogun quizzed on Rangers future as veteran still waiting for contract talks to kickstart

Leon Balogun is hopeful his return to the Rangers team can help kickstart contract talks.

The Nigerian centre-back's current deal runs out in the summer and as yet there still hasn't been any discussions with the club over his future. He hasn't featured much for Philippe Clement in recent weeks but returned to the XI for Sunday's semi-final win over Hearts and impressed, good timing in terms of coinciding with his expiring deal.

Balogun had a run in the team earlier in the season and has been solid and reliable every time and so is more than a steady squad option. Rangers are expected to overhaul their squad once again in the summer window and he will hope to have done enough to still be part of it.

The 35-year-old hopes Sunday's display can play a part in helping that along.

Asked if that was the case, he said: “I hope so. Has there been talks on my future? Not yet. I really don't know what will happen. I think those decisions will be made within the club within the next few weeks.

"I hope I get a notification a bit more timely than the last time around! I would like to think I can be quite positive, touching on the manager choosing me on Sunday, but I can't really tell you - I don't know yet.”

The man Balogun replaced in the team was Connor Goldson and the 31-year-old has been criticised for some of his recent performances. Clement admitted he was being rested.

But his replacement has been full of praise for the Englishman and insists his boots aren't easy to fill.

“Connor is brilliant,” he added. “He always is, whether he is playing or not. In terms of shoe size, I almost make it up to him! But it's big boots to fill and I feel like a lot of the time, he doesn't always get the credit he deserves.

"He is always vital and in terms of his communication on and off the pitch, his presence, it's not easy to replicate that. He encouraged everyone.”