Rangers were today preparing to make a new bid for Northern Ireland midfielder Steve Davis following Carlos Cuellar’s £7.8 million move from Ibrox to Aston Villa.

Classy defender Cuellar’s switch from Scotland to the English Premier League won’t please the Rangers fans, already depressed by the club’s European exit, but the pain would be eased if the Glasgow giants could land Fulham midfielder Davis, who was a big hit on loan with Walter Smith’s side last season.

The proposed deal taking Davis to Rangers on a permanent basis has not reached the saga proportions of Gareth Barry’s potential transfer from Villa to Liverpool, but it is a move that has been talked about for most of the summer.

Rangers made an initial bid of £3 million which was turned down by Fulham, who want something approaching the £4 million that they paid Aston Villa for him one year ago.

Since then the clubs have spoken but without reaching a conclusion.

The Northern Ireland star would be keen to return to Rangers knowing his first choice chances at Craven Cottage are likely to be limited.

Now with money to spend following Cuellar’s switch, Rangers are ready to tempt Fulham with an improved offer.

Smith could certainly do with the Cullybackey man.

In their embarrassing Champions League defeat to Kaunas last week, Rangers were sadly lacking in midfield. With skipper Barry Ferguson injured and Davis back with Fulham, the Teddy Bears were missing two of the most influential players in the side that inspired them to the UEFA Cup final last season.

Fulham can expect a call about Davis this week.