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Walter Smith last night refused to say the deal to sign Steve Davis from Fulham is dead.

Rangers’ capture of Charlton Athletic defender Madjid Bougherra takes the club’s summer spending to almost £9million.

But Smith insists there’s still money left over to sign the creative midfield player he’s been looking to get for a year. The manager dropped a heavy hint, though, that the Irishman’s personal terms could be the deal breaker.

Smith is unwilling to destroy the Ibrox wage structure for one man living in the distorted world of the Premiership and upset other highprofile players on less money with Rangers.

He said: “There’s no dialogue between Rangers and Fulham at the moment but there is money left over to buy players on top of Bougherra, Kenny Miller, Kyle Lafferty and Andrius Velicka.

“What you’re looking for is good value in terms of transfer fee and wages. You don’t want to break into squad wage levels.”

Fulham’s 11th-hour escape from relegation has left them in a position where they can spend £16m on two forwards – Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson – but still decline to sell Davis until they get the fee they’re looking for from Rangers.

Smith said: “The money that’s going about in the Premiership doesn’t make it impossible to deal in the transfer market but it has distorted it. They’ve made it awkward when it comes to trying to improve your group.

“But we’ll continue to try to bring one or two players in before the transfer deadline expires. I’ve been looking for a creative midfield player for the last 12 months but it’s not easy to get players exactly when you want them.”