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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 20:26 GMT 21:26 UK
Whittaker excited by Gers switch
Hibernian defender Steven Whittaker
Whittaker said he was delighted with his move to Ibrox
Rangers have signed defender Steven Whittaker from Hibernian for 2m.

Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough were also chasing the player, but he has signed a five-year contract with Hibs' Scottish Premier League rivals.

The 23-year-old former Scotland Under-21 international passed a medical on Wednesday.

"I'm delighted to be here at last. I've taken a step up by coming to Rangers and I want to progress as much as possible," he told the club website.

Whittaker will now compete with Alan Hutton, who made his international debut against Austria this year, for the right-back berth at Ibrox.

Everybody wants to come and play on this side of the city, it's a great club and I'm so happy to be here

Steven Whittaker

Hutton was sent off during Rangers' 2-0 first-leg victory over Zeta in the second round of Champions League qualifying on Tuesday.

But his position will not immediately be under threat, with Whittaker being suspended for the opening game of the league season.

Referring to his five-year deal with the Ibrox club, Whittaker said: "I was more than happy to commit myself to the club for such a long-term contract and I think I can achieve everything I want to here.

"There was a lot of speculation over the summer but I tried to stay away from it and enjoy my holiday.

"Everybody wants to come and play on this side of the city, it's a great club and I'm so happy to be here."

Whittaker, a product of the Easter Road youth system, made 173 appearances for Hibs.

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He becomes Rangers' ninth summer signing and the deal takes the club's close-season spending above 7m.

Hibs have already sold Whittaker's former Under-21 team-mate, Scott Brown, this summer - the midfielder joining Celtic for 4.4m.

Hibs manager John Collins said he believed the Easter Road squad was strong enough to cope with Whittaker's departure.

"We were not looking to sell Steven, but have now been offered what I believe is a good fee for a player who has been a great servant to this club," Collins told the Hibs website.

"We have I believe an excellent replacement for Steven in Kevin McCann, as well as Thierry Gatheussi who can also play that position and has recently signed a two-year contract with the club."



SEE ALSO
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