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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 19:56 GMT
Rangers secure Buffel signature
Thomas Buffel arrives at Ibrox
Rangers have completed the 2.3m signing of 23-year-old midfielder Thomas Buffel from Feyenoord.

And he has immediately set his sights on making his debut in Sunday's Scottish Cup meeting with Celtic.

"I'm delighted to have joined such a great club," the 23-year-old Belgium international said after signing a four-and-a-half year contract.

"I can't wait to get started. I have not played for a couple of weeks, but I feel strong and ready for Sunday."

Buffel, who had 18 months of his contract to run with the Dutch club and has been capped five times, scored 32 goals in two seasons for Feyenoord.

But he has made only 15 appearances this season after falling out with manager Ruud Gullit and is keen to get his career back on track and help Rangers win silverware.

"I realise it is going to be a hot race for the league title, but I have come here to do something to help Rangers win that title," he said.

Rangers beat off competition from Benfica and Stuttgart for the player, his agent, Dirk Dagraen, having hinted that the Scottish club were the only ones willing to meet Feyenoord's valuation.

Rangers boss Alex McLeish admitted that Buffel, an attacking midfielder who could be used up front, is a player he has been tracking for some time.

"He is very quick and is a striker who has an eye for goal," he said.

"Thomas was very prolific for two seasons with Feyenoord before this season, when Ruud Gullit had different ideas.

"He is a player I have admired for a long time and he had a tremendous season with Pierre van Hooijdonk around three seasons ago when he burst on to the scene.

"Thomas is a player I have kept my eye on."

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