STEVEN Gerrard has told his former Liverpool team mate Jon Flanagan he has to fight to win a new contract at Rangers next summer.

Flanagan’s current deal expires at the end of the 2019/20 campaign and no extension has so far been offered to the full-back.

The 26-year-old defender hasn’t played for the Ibrox first team since the defeat to Celtic on September 2 due to a hernia problem that required surgery.

Gerrard, whose side start a run of eight games in 29 games when they play Hearts at home in the Ladbrokes Premiership this afternoon, revealed he has spoken to the former England cap about his situation.

“Jon's got to fight for a new contract,” he said. “He's had a couple of injuries that set him back at the start of the season.

“Jon is clear on what his situation is because I've had the conversation with him, man to man.

“I love him as a guy and an ex-team-mate. But I have to park that friendship up for obvious reasons. I'm there for him and he's got my support.

“But Jon knows exactly what he's got to do between now and the end of the season to earn a new contract.”

Gerrard added: “There could be a chance for him in December with all the games we have, possibly. People are carrying knocks and the games are coming thick and fast. So everyone has got to be on their toes.

“But Borna (Barisic) is in incredible form and Tav (James Tavernier) is the captain. He's very robust and is available for every session and every game. Yes, Tav has had a dip in form that he's fighting to get back from.

“The challenge is there for Jon. He knows the respect he's got from the staff but he also knows the situation. He's got a fight on to stay at Rangers and that's the way it's got to be.”

Flanagan, who played for the Rangers Colts in their Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup win over Wrexham a fortnight ago, is fit again and determined to show he deserves a new contract in the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign.

“Hopefully something can get sorted in the near future,” he said. “I am loving my time up here. It is great to be a part of it. I am ready to take my chance when it comes again.”

“I obviously played the first part of the season and then I got the injury. It has been frustrating, but it is football at the end of the day. I have probably been back for a month and a half now and I am feeling up to speed now, I am feeling good, ready to show what I can do.”

Flanagan added: “James and Borna are both in top form, so when I get my chance I just have to perform to their level and try to keep the shirt.

“I’m definitely ready to fight to stay at Rangers. I’m always up for a fight, whether it’s at right back or left back, I’m willing to fight.

“I’ve just got to keep working hard and when you’re given the opportunity, you’ve got to go and perform to the level, if not better, that the lads are doing now.

“There could be opportunities in December because there’s a lot of game time between now and the winter break. There are going to be changes made so I’ve just got to take that opportunity when I get put in.”

Rangers will be promoting Stonewall Scotland's Rainbow Laces campaign at their Ladbrokes Premiership match against Hearts at Ibrox this afternoon.