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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Bernard signs deal with Rangers
Olivier Bernard arrives at Ibrox
Olivier Bernard is keen to play in the Champions League
Rangers have confirmed the signing of 25-year-old former Newcastle United and Southampton left-back Olivier Bernard on a two-year contract.

The Glasgow club say that they beat off competition from Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City for his signature.

Frenchman Bernard was a free agent, having left Saints after they were relegated from the English Premiership.

Bernard said: "I'm very pleased. It means a lot to me, because Rangers are a massive club."

He was brought in to replace full-back Michael Ball, who joined PSV Eindhoven, and can also operate in midfield.

"I don't really know very much about Scottish football, but I know about Rangers," he said.

"I have played in the Champions League before and the prospect of playing there again this season is something that excites me."

Bernard became Rangers' third signing within 24 hours.

Francis Jeffers had earlier joined on loan from Charlton Athletic, while fellow striker Filippo Maniero signed as a free agent having been with Torino last season.

Leaving Ibrox along with Ball were fellow defenders Maurice Ross, who joined Sheffield Wednesday, and Zura Khizanishvili, who has gone on loan to Blackburn Rovers for the rest of the season.

Young defender Brian McLean moved to Motherwell on loan, while midfielder Charlie Adam was farmed out to St Mirren.

Midfielder Dragan Mladenovic had his contract terminated earlier in the week so he could rejoin Red Star Belgrade.

Meanwhile, defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos returned to Ibrox following a successful loan spell last season from Panathinaikos.


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