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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 15:25 GMT
Numan to retire
Arthur Numan in action against AC Milan
Rangers had hoped to keep Numan (left)
Dutch international defender Arthur Numan will quit Rangers and football at the end of the season.

The Scottish Premier League leaders had hoped to hold on to the 33-year-old for another year.

But, although Numan was willing to accept a pay cut to stay, he and the debt-hit Glasgow club could not reach agreement and the parting of the ways was announced on their website on Monday.

Rangers signed Jerome Bonnissel from Bordeaux during the January transfer window as cover for the left-back position that has been Numan's own for five years.

The gap between what the club offered and what I wanted was too big

Rangers defender Arthur Numan
The Dutchman said: "Everyone knows the situation at the club and I was willing to take a pay cut.

"But the gap between what the club offered and what I wanted was too big, so I have decided I will leave in the summer."

It is understood Numan would have received substantially less than half his current 19,000 per week next season under the terms of a pay-as-you- play deal.

But instead of taking up one of the offers he has had to return to his native Holland, Numan has decided to give up the game at the age of 33.

He said: "It doesn't work out when a player tries to re-build his career in the country he came from.

"I have looked at Jorg Albertz's return to Germany with Hamburg and learned a lesson from that move.

"There is plenty of time to decide what to do next and I have some ideas in mind. It's time to focus on something else."

Rangers' director of football business, Martin Bain, said: "We were keen to come to an agreement to extend Arthur's contract here.

"The two parties went back and forth. But, in the end, an agreement could not be reached.

He is the kind of player who will give his all between now and the end of the season

Rangers director Martin Bain

"He has given great service to Rangers and has been a great ambassador for the club during nearly five years here.

"We know he is the kind of player who will give his all between now and the end of the season and do everything in his power to help Rangers win the league title."

Numan, who also previously played for Haarlem and Twente Enschede, is the second Rangers first-team player out of contract in the summer to announce his departure.

Claudio Caniggia had been told that Rangers could not give him a decision about a new deal until the summer.

The veteran Argentine forward has decided that he cannot wait and will decide on a new club in March.

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12 Feb 03 | Rangers
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