Fulham have beaten Rangers to the signing of Portsmouth centreback Dejan Stefanovic.

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp has reluctantly allowed Stefanovic to leave Fratton Park, as the 32-year-old had become a fringe player after four years as a regular.

Rangers boss Walter Smith believed the defender would be lured by the chance to play Champions League football, but Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez stole in.

Stefanovic said last night: “My agent spoke with Rangers and there was the option to go to Glasgow but once I spoke to Lawrie Sanchez I knew Fulham was the club for me.

“Lawrie has bought in a lot of players and I think the club has a very big future.”