JERMAIN DEFOE has thanked Rangers for the 'unbelievable opportunity' as he gets set to begin his coaching career with the champions next term.

The 38-year-old has agreed a new one-year extension to his Ibrox deal that will see him become part of the backroom team at Auchenhowie as well as remaining a key part of Steven Gerrard's squad.

Defoe has scored 32 goals in 72 appearances for Rangers since joining up with his former England team-mate in January 2019 and he was an important influence on and off the park during their Premiership title win last term.

The striker will now look to help Rangers retain their crown in the coming months as he takes his first steps into coaching with the Light Blues.

Defoe said: "It is well-documented how much I love the club and the relationship I have with the fans, the players and the staff at the club.

"So to get the deal over the line, I am just delighted. It is something I wanted to happen, even before the season finished, especially the way we finished the season with winning the league.

"It was the perfect time to be at the football club and it was so special, so to sign another contract as a player/coach, and to still be a part of it, it is an amazing feeling for me and my family.

"It is something different and it is something new for me, and first of all, I want to thank the board, Ross [Wilson] and the manager and all the staff that have made this happen.

"It is an unbelievable opportunity for me and it just shows the appreciation I get from everyone at the football club which is the best feeling in the world more than anything else, and I can imagine once I get started, hopefully I will just flow into it and everything will happen quite naturally."