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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 18:24 GMT
Gers are fab, Collins tells Fabrice
Fernandes says Rangers were better option than Fulham
Fernandes says Rangers were better option than Fulham
French Under-21 star Fabrice Fernandes has revealed how former Celtic hero John Collins helped persuade him to join Rangers.

Fernandes has jetted into Glasgow and has put pen to paper on a three month loan deal with a view to making the move permanent.

He passed a medical on Wednesday and all that is needed to finalise the move is clearance from the French Football Federation.

Despite Rangers' efforts the paperwork has not been completed in time to allow him to face Dundee at Ibrox in Wednesday's league match.

The player has been on loan with Fulham but is registered with French club Rennes, who value him at 4.5m.

It is understood that Rangers have paid Rennes 200,000 to borrow him and also forked out the 100,000 the player stood to gain for staying at Fulham until they clinch promotion to the Premiership.

Big club

Fernandes said: "John Collins is player-coach at Fulham and he told me this was a good chance for me.

"He said Rangers were a big club with a lot of quality and, when I informed him that I wanted to play in Scotland, he wished me good luck."

John Collins told Fernandez how big Rangers are
John Collins told Fernandez how big Rangers are
Fernandes scored a memorable free kick against Manchester United in the FA Cup this season and has until the end of the season to step further into the limelight by clinching a permanent deal.

He said: "I'm very happy to come here and I want to play for Rangers for a long time.

"I also want to play in the Champions League next season.

"I want to play quickly, but I'll play when and where Dick Advocaat wants.

"I want to play for France and being with Rangers can help.

"There are good players here, like Barry Ferguson and Tore Andre Flo.

"I watched Rangers' two Champions League games against Monaco on TV and I also saw them beat Celtic 5-1.

"Rangers is a better move for me than Fulham.

"They may be guaranteed a place in the Premiership next year but will need to adapt.

On trial

"Rangers are already at the top level."

Meanwhile, Rangers have taken 18-year-old Russian striker Anatole Ponomarev on trial from Swedish First Division side Djurgardens IF.

His father, Igor, played for the Soviet Union and now manages the Azerbaijan national team.

Rangers' third-choice goalkeeper, Mark Brown, has gone for a week's trial at Motherwell.

The Fir Park club have both first-team goalkeepers, Andy Goram and Steve Woods, about to become out-of-contract.

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See also:

13 Mar 01 |  Football
Ibrox looms for foreign duo
12 Mar 01 |  Rangers
Rangers' reversal of fortunes
11 Mar 01 |  Scottish Cup
United sink ragged Rangers
11 Mar 01 |  Eng Div 1
Collins: Patience is the key
08 Mar 01 |  Rangers
Gayle blows into Ibrox
09 Mar 01 |  Rangers
Gio aiming for Cup comeback
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