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Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 18:13 GMT
Gers to pay off Latapy
Rangers midfielder Russell Latapy (left)
Latapy will leave Rangers before his contract expires
Rangers are negotiating a pay-off deal to end midfielder Russell Latapy's spell at the club.

The former Trinidad and Tobago international has featured in only a handful of matches this season and was not included among the party that travelled to Dubai on Monday for winter break training.

The 34-year-old's current deal expires in the summer and manager Alex McLeish has decided to let him go early.

He said: "We are looking to play younger players and Russell does not feature in our plans so it is best that he looks for another club straight away."

Russell does not feature in our plans

Rangers boss Alex McLeish
Latapy was the star of McLeish's Hibernian side that won the First Division championship and then went on to challenge the Old Firm two seasons ago.

His play-making skills prompted then Rangers manager Dick Advocaat to recruit him on a free transfer for the 2001/2002 campaign.

His final days at Hibs were marred by off-field problems that led to McLeish dropping him from his squad just days before the Scottish Cup final against Celtic.

And when McLeish succeeded Advocaat at Ibrox he used Latapy only sparingly.

This season saw him start only twice, with the 2-1 win at Partick on 22 December looking almost certain to be his last game for Rangers.

According to the club's official website Latapy is currently in Portugal.

Rangers director of football business, Martin Bain, told the club's website: "We have agreed with Russell and his agent - further to discussions over the weekend - that we will allow him to stay behind and look for a new club rather than come to Dubai."

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