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Davis seals Rangers switch

Rangers have completed the signing of Fulham midfielder Steven Davis on a four-year deal.

The Northern Ireland midfielder remained in Glasgow to finalise the formalities of the switch following his country’s goalless draw with Scotland at Hampden last night.

Davis, 23, spent the second half of last season on loan at Ibrox and has been a target of manager Walter Smith all summer.

Rangers finally agreed a fee with Fulham – believed to be in the region of £3million – on Saturday.

Davis helped the Glasgow giants win two domestic cup competitions last season as they came close to winning an incredible quadruple.

He is Smith’s fourth midfield signing in little over a week following the arrivals of Aaron Niguez Esclapez, Pedro Mendes and Maurice Edu.

Davis, who did not play in Fulham’s opening Barclays Premier League game at Hull, could make his second debut for Rangers in Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Aberdeen.

The club will hope the recent spending spree will help appease fans angered by the £7.8million sale of star defender Carlos Cuellar to Aston Villa.

Smith vowed to spend the cash received for the Spaniard on new signings and has so far lived up to that promise.

Northern Ireland team-mate David Healy backed Davis to be a huge success at Ibrox.

He said: ‘It’s a great boost for the lad. He went up last year and I know he did terrifically well.

‘Rangers think a lot of him, they wouldn’t be spending the money they are spending on a player who they don’t think is going to improve them.

‘He is a quality player, he proved last night his energy levels are there, his fitness is there, and his desire to get in the box.

‘He put in two or three balls into the box, which if we play with a 4-4-2 he sometimes doesn’t get the opportunity to break into the box.

‘Rangers are getting a good signing, that’s for sure, and someone who is going to keep on improving and improving.’

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson admitted he was sorry to see Davis go but insisted he could not offer the first-team football that would justify keeping the player at Craven Cottage.

‘It was the right move for Steven. He went to Rangers on loan last season and did extremely well,’ Hodgson said.

‘He became a real crowd favourite up there. It was going to be harsh for him to come back here and not be a certain regular.

‘I like Steven as a person and a player but the offer we received from Rangers was a good and correct one that reflected his value.

‘Sometimes, you also need to take into account the interests of the player. If I’d been able to guarantee him half the first-team games at Fulham, I’d have been tempted to persuade him to stay.

‘But I couldn’t be sure of doing that and I didn’t want to ruin his chances of joining a great club where he’s already made a name for himself.’

Davis deal hits snag

Steve Davis’ proposed £3million move to Rangers is in danger of falling through, following a snag over personal terms.

The Northern Ireland midfielder was all set to complete a permanent switch to Ibrox, after making 12 appearances on loan for Walter Smith’s side last season, following agreement between the clubs on a fee.

But the deal stalled over a financial hitch which is believed to be between Davis and Fulham. It is rumoured to be a disagreement over payments to Davis which he believes he is due as he did not formally ask for a transfer.

Both parties were desperately trying to resolve the problem on Tuesday, with Smith looking on anxiously after earmarking the 23-year old’s poise and workrate as the qualities needed to help Rangers recover from a stuttering start to the season.

Davis set to sign for Rangers

RANGERS will end the longest running transfer saga of the summer this weekend by signing Fulham midfielder Steven Davis for £3million.

The Northern Ireland skipper was a massive hit at Ibrox during his loan spell last season.

Then he spent the summer in limbo as the clubs haggled over a price to make the move permanent.

But last night boss Walter Smith, whose transfer kitty was bolstered by the £7.8m sale of Carlos Cuellar to Aston Villa in midweek, finally got his man as Fulham agreed to sell and Davis was close to agreeing personal terms.

The deal is unlikely to be done before Rangers face Hearts at Ibrox today but Davis will be Smith’s third signing in a week by tomorrow night at the latest.

The club unveiled £3m Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes yesterday, hot on the heels of signing Valencia’s highly-rated attacking midfielder Aaron Niguez on Thursday.

Davis’ arrival may mean Smith putting on the back burner his interest in Palermo’s Australian internationalist Mark Bresciano.

Rangers readying new Davis offer

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.

Rangers still in for Davis

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.”