RYAN KENT sat in the departure lounge preparing for a move that would change his life and his career forever as he closed in on a deal with Club Brugge. His heart was set on Rangers, though.

A fresh start in Belgium awaited, as did mouthwatering Champions League games with Real Madrid, PSG and Galatasaray.

But the call that Kent had waited months for, that he feared may never come, eventually arrived. He was on his way to Ibrox, on his way home.

Within hours, Kent was back in Glasgow and a £7million return to Rangers had been secured.

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“I was pretty close to getting on the flight,” Kent said of a deadline day that ended with a dream move as he was reunited with Steven Gerrard once again. “I was already checked in and sitting in the departure lounge at Manchester airport. That’s when I get a call from my agent and the gaffer saying ‘don’t go on the flight.’

“I was getting ready to fly out and sign for Club Brugge.

“They are in the Champions League and that was one of the main reasons I was heading there.

“It would have been a big platform for me to showcase myself against the best European clubs. But, my heart was set on coming back here.

“I think I can achieve everything I want here and take myself to where I want to go.”

In the last days of the transfer window, Kent knew he had to get out of Liverpool. He got his wish.

His future had become the saga of the summer at Ibrox but it wasn’t until those final hours that Kent and Gerrard got the move they had coveted for so long.

“I had a big smile on my face,” Kent said. “It was probably the first time I had smiled in quite a while.

“I was just delighted. That was the call I had been waiting for the whole transfer window and for it to finally come around was a no brainer for me. I had to get in the car and get up here.

“It would have been hard [going to Brugge]. But I knew that as much as I wanted to be here I do have to look after myself as well. Brugge did offer a good platform for me to go and play against some of the best teams and best opposition in the world on a big stage, so there was an element of excitement about going there.

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“But there was also a side of me disappointed that Rangers might not have come around to come back here again.”

When Kent put pen-to-paper on a four-year deal, it brought an end to months of debate and speculation about his future.

Gerrard had been asked almost on a weekly basis about the Englishman, while supporters had become increasingly anxious about a switch that was on, off and then back on again.

A pre-season trip to America with Jurgen Klopp’s side didn’t change Kent’s mind and the final weeks of his Anfield career were difficult on a personal and professional level.

Kent said: “It’s never hard to stay motivated. I had to start training on my own and I made sure that I was keeping my fitness levels up.

“I don’t work have to work hard for other people to see. I work hard for myself and make sure I get the best out of myself.

“It was quite hard [mentally] because it felt like the longest pre-season of my life.

“I was running every day and mentally it did get quite tough at times. Not just for me, but for everybody around me as well. Everybody who wanted to see me back up here.

“I knew I had stay focussed and make sure this moment would come.

“I probably wouldn’t have come back here if I wasn’t comfortable with [the expectations]. I know what I have to go and deliver just as every other player has to go and deliver it. There are eleven people on the pitch and I am just one of them so if I can do my part then that’s all I can do.”

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It took until midnight on deadline day for Rangers to finally announce Kent. For the player, his manager and his supporters, the wait was worth it.

Kent said: “I was aware of it although I tried not to read into it too much. There were times when it was getting quite frustrating because everyone wanted to see me back here.

“I wanted to come back here myself but I was being restricted from that happening. The support I received from everybody was overwhelming.

“The players kept asking me when I was coming back although there wasn’t much I could tell them.

“I didn’t know myself until the last day of the window. I asked Liverpool if I could come to Rangers because I felt I got so much out of myself last season.

“I felt there was still more time and this was the right place for it to happen. I worked hard at the start of pre-season and we had agreed I could come back here.”