THE numbers are starting to get silly in relation to Alfredo Morelos. Like twitchy-fingered folk at a charity auction at the end of a long boozy dinner, the sums that Rangers won’t sell the Colombian for next month are getting higher and higher.

First it was £10m. Then £20m. Outgoing Ibrox chairman Dave King then took it to £40m last week before his manager added a further £10m on top a day later. Morelos won’t be leaving even if another club offers £50m for him, insisted Steven Gerrard.

The sentiment is clear. If Rangers are to have any chance of pipping Celtic to the title in this of all seasons, then they need to hold on to their most prolific striker since Marco Negri’s first four months in a light blue jersey. Morelos has tidied up his disciplinary record and continued to score at an incredible rate, in Europe especially. He won’t be short of admirers.

Gerrard knows he won’t be able to replace what Morelos brings to his team. Even if, hypothetically, an elite club did offer the sort of sums now being spoken about, the manager would receive only a fraction of that money to re-invest in a replacement.

Celtic have been coining in sizeable transfer fees on a regular basis ever since Aiden McGeady left for Spartak Moscow in 2010. In the last two summer windows they took in £45m for Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney alone. And yet, despite all of that income, their record outlay remains the £9m they paid for Odsonne Edouard.

That is how the model works for both of these clubs. Look to bring in talented but undiscovered players on the cheap then move them on a few years later for many multiples of that sum. And then repeat ad nauseum.

That structure is not built for replacing a £20m player with another at the same cost. If nothing else, players arriving for that kind of fee tend to expect a salary on a commensurate level. And when you start tearing up your wage structure to make it work then you put yourself at risk of entering a whole new world of financial pain.

Plus, as Gerrard has underlined repeatedly, where would he find a striker of that pedigree in this sort of form that a club would be willing to let move on in mid-season? Even the best scouting team in the world would have a job unearthing such a talent.

Gerrard digging his heels in, then, makes sense from his and the team’s perspective. And there has been no indication from the player himself that he is itching to get away.

But this will ultimately be a financial not a football decision. Plucking figures out of the air to arbitrarily attach to Morelos doesn’t mean anything.

His worth will be what any club is willing and able to pay for him. If there is more than one club interested in signing him then, of course, that sum rises again. And then it comes down to the Rangers board – and not the manager – weighing up the consequences of accepting or not accepting that kind of era-defining money.

If there were bids of the size spoken about by King and Gerrard, then that could represent instant financial stability after years of uncertainty.

But there would be consequences. Not only would Celtic almost certainly go on to complete nine-in-a-row but selling Morelos would both undermine and demoralise Gerrard after his very public pitch to keep his player.

And it would do little for supporter morale at a time when optimism is starting to creep back up to pre-2012 levels.

Of course, all of this remains hypothetical for now. There have been no official bids tabled for Morelos that we know of and perhaps it would make it easier for all involved if that remains the case throughout January.

But, should a bid come in, saying no won’t be as straight-forward as King and Gerrard have been suggesting.

And another thing

Telling Andy Murray he isn’t capable of something is a bit like asking a child not to climb on the furniture. It will only make him more determined to try.

Goran Ivanisevic may have deployed logic when the former Wimbledon champion stated confidently that Murray would never win another of tennis’ grand slams.

The Scot is 32-and-a-half now and been through an extremely trying year that has included facing up to the fact he might be coming to the end of his career. And then major hip surgery and painful rehabilitation just to keep it going.

Winning seven matches against the best players in the world to claim another major title could be beyond him.

But if we have learned anything about Murray over these past 12 months it is that only a fool would write him off.

The terrific Amazon documentary “Resurfacing” outlines in remarkable detail the lengths Murray has been willing to traverse simply to keep his career alive. A first ATP win in two years in October has shown what he’s still capable of. There could well be more to come.

The body might be weaker but his spirit is stronger than ever. Ivanisevic might be eventually shown to be correct but you can be sure Murray will be giving everything in his power to prove him wrong.