Alfredo Morelos’s prospective move to Lille hinges on the French club’s pursuit of Canadian striker Jonathan David – and could fall through if Gent in Belgium accept an improved offer for their leading scorer in the coming days.

A report in France on Sunday stated the Ligue 1 outfit had agreed personal terms with Morelos and were locked in negotiations with Rangers over a transfer fee for the Colombian forward.

An Ibrox source promptly dismissed that suggestion and insisted no active talks were ongoing with Les Dogues - whose initial bid of €15m earlier this month fell “some way short” of their valuation of the player.

But Lille manager Christoph Galtier is definitely keen to bolster his attacking options after former Chelsea and Newcastle United forward Loic Remy departed and Nigerian internationalist Victor Osimhen was sold to Napoli for €80m.

He has brought in Burak Yilmaz, the experienced Turkish striker, and is determined to add David, the prodigiously-talented 20-year-old who scored 23 goals in 40 appearances for Gent during the curtailed 2019/20 campaign.

Lille had an offer of €25m turned down for a player who has netted 11 times in 12 games for his country this month and newly-promoted Leeds United, who have a close association with his agent Nick Mavromaras, have since entered the race for his signature.

However, David has gone on record as stating that the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, which is just a half hour drive across the Belgian-French border from his current home, is his preferred destination. If Lille are prepared to part with €30m then they should be able to secure his services.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean their interest in Morelos will end there as their French international forward Jonathan Ikone has been linked with both Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea in recent weeks.

If the €40m-rated 22-year-old – who Dortmund have earmarked as a potential replacement for Manchester United target Jadon Sancho – leaves this summer then they could turn to Morelos as a replacement.

The weekend reports sparked fears in Govan that Rangers could be forced to kick off the Premiership against Aberdeen at Pittodrie without a recognised striker as Jermain Defoe is currently sidelined indefinitely with a hamstring injury and there is no sign of any new attacking players being signed.

Steven Gerrard revealed he has told the Ibrox board that he “needs more” following his side’s 2-0 win in a pre-season friendly against Coventry City on Saturday evening and admitted that bringing in a new striker is a priority.

However, the French international transfer window doesn’t open until August 15. Furthermore, the Italian transfer window doesn’t open until September. That could mean that Lille will have to wait until then to receive the first instalment of the fee for Osimhen.

Lille president Gerard Lopez yesterday told French sports paper L’Equipe that they have identified several players as they seek to rebuild their forward line and appeared to play down suggestions that a deal being struck for Morelos was imminent.

“There are open files,” he said. “There’s an approach led by Luis (sporting director Campos). He gives Christoph Galtier different profiles. Where certain people are wrong is when we see specific names coming out. They think they will sign. Even if we’re interested in a profile, it’s only in combination with others.

“We’ve lost two attackers. We want a coherent system with players that suit it. We’ll build in the new two weeks. We’ve no excuse not to fight at the top of the table. Our budget demands that we don’t look elsewhere. We’ll remain humble, but we will have talent.”