Michael Beale insists Antonio Colak still has a big future at Rangers and the Ibrox boss has urged the Croatian to dig deep to fight for his position.

The Gers striking department is set for major change this summer with Alfredo Morelos set to depart the club following a six-year spell in Glasgow.

The Colombian has featured prominently in recent months since Beale became manager, but that was not the case during the final stages of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s stint as manager.

Colak was a favourite of the Dutchman’s and his goals during the months of August and September certainly got the excitement brewing for Rangers fans.

Injuries have hampered the 29-year-old since, but Beale insists the former Malmo man is still part of his plans.

He explained: “For Antonio’s first season at Rangers, in terms of starts, his goal return is fantastic. The reality is since November he has had an on-off time with injuries.

“When I came in he was injured but he came back and played a few games, he scored two goals against Hibs and he was fantastic.

“He played up front with Fashion Sakala and that night was as good as we have played under me. Ryan Kent played behind with Todd Cantwell, so I have no issue with Antonio’s style.

“He has just not had an opportunity to get a run of games. Alfredo has been injured, so has Antonio, so we have had to play the striker who is fit rather than picking.

“Moving forward there will be competition coming into the squad and Tony will fight it out with those guys.

“His goalscoring record gives me optimism, if he has a good pre-season and comes out of it, then I will get the Antonio Colak we had in August in September.

“Does he have a future? Yeah. He will have to take on the challenge like everyone else. I want to drive competition in the squad and he won’t shy away from it and he backs himself.

“If someone doesn’t want competition then they aren’t at the right club moving forward.”

Beale also revealed the search for a new No9 is well underway as the club look to replace the outgoing Morelos.

He added: “We will be looking for more than a centre forward, we are looking for centre forwards.

“When we play in Europe or big games then every player must take part in every minute of the game. I like the forwards not to be one position but interchange and move around and have a lot of freedom.

“Whenever we have done well in Europe, every player takes part in all aspects of the game and that is the big thing.

“We want energy, we want speed, we want personality. If you want to be a No9 here you need to have that. At both ends of the pitch we probably need a bit of experience in this moment.

“This isn’t the moment to go with rookies at both ends of the park. In between that we can get a lovely mix but at both ends then we need some experience.”