RANGERS manager Philippe Clement has admitted that Kemar Roofe’s physical condition is getting “better and better” and welcomed the increased competition for places the fit-again striker is creating up front.

However, Clement, who has also seen Todd Cantwell, Rabbi Matondo, Ross McCausland, Abdallah Sima and Dujon Sterling become available for selection after spells on the sidelines, is keen for his returning players to reach a level where they can feature for the full 90 minutes.

The Belgian left Roofe, who underwent a hip operation last year, out of his match day squad for the cinch Premiership match against Hibernian at Ibrox on Saturday. However, he stressed that he is pleased with the progress the £4.5m Jamaican internationalist is making in training.

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“He’s getting better and better, but, of course, he comes from a long way back,” he said. “And there’s competition. There are also other players.

“So it’s about him giving his best, which he has been doing in training, and raising his levels. He comes from far away because he hasn’t played too many minutes this season.

“Physically (he is nearly ready to play 90 minutes), yes, but there’s also competition from other players. That way it’s a positive thing. I start to get headaches again about making decisions. But it’s only a positive thing for the club I think.

“I saw him when he was at Anderlecht. He’s always been a natural goalscorer. He’s someone who’s really hungry to score goals and who is really active in the box and who works hard for the team also. It was the same way there (in Belgium).” 

The Herald: Clement added: “Now I want not only to get these possibilities, but to have these possibilities for 90 minutes. That’s the next step to take with these guys coming back. 

“At the moment it’s just watching and thinking, ‘Okay this guy can play 20, this one can play 30, this one can play 45’. And then make a good mix to win games. 

“So you want to come to a situation where you have positive choices with guys who can play 90 minutes. Then it’s a real challenge for the players also to be in the exam.” 

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Roofe, who scored a late winner against Real Betis in Spain in December to ensure Rangers topped their Europa League group, is out of contract at the end of the season.

Clement is unhappy that six members of his squad - Leon Balogun, Borna Barisic, Ryan Jack, John Lundstram and Jon McLaughlin are the others – can leave for nothing in the summer.

However, the Belgian, whose team take on Celtic at Ibrox in the Premiership on Sunday, admitted that there was no update on negotiations.

“There’s no reason to talk about anything,” he said. “Because you can say it’s close or it’s far away. But you can never really talk about that. 

“It’s close when it’s signed. When it’s not signed? Is it close or is it far? So there’s no reason to talk about those things until there’s an agreement.”