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Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Saturday, 16 August 2008 14:29 UK

Edu poised for switch to Rangers

Maurice Edu arrives at Ibrox
Edu watched Rangers defeat Hearts at Ibrox on Saturday

Toronto midfielder Maurice Edu has flown into Glasgow to complete a 2.7m transfer to Rangers.

The versatile 22-year-old had just returned home after representing the USA at the Olympics in Beijing.

Now he will discuss personal terms with Rangers, who say they will work with Toronto to gain a work permit for Edu.

He would become the third capture this week by Rangers, who are also believed to be close to completing the signing of Fulham's Steven Davis.

Davis had a successful loan spell at Ibrox last season, but negotiations had so far broken down over a transfer fee.

Thursday's signing of Pedro Mendes from Portsmouth, which closely followed the addition of winger Aaron on loan from Valencia, appeared to suggest that Rangers would not be looking for yet another midfield player.

We are in the final stages of tying everything up, but we still have to apply for the work permit.

Rangers manager Walter Smith

But it appears that the Glasgow club have continued their interest.

Rangers' transfer activity gained pace after their shock exit from Champions League qualifying at the hands of Kaunas and the loss to Aston Villa of Carlos Cuellar, the defender activating a clause that allowed him to leave for 7.8m.

It remains to be seen whether Rangers manager Walter Smith sees Edu as a midfielder or as a replacement in central defence, where he played for the USA during their three games in Beijing.

Edu, who is due to watch his prospective new employers face Hearts at Ibrox in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday, comes highly recommended by former Celtic and Rangers striker Maurice Johnston.

As manager and director of football at Toronto, Johnston has been able to track the progress of the California-born youngster since he made his Major League Soccer debut in April 2007.

Smith said: "We are interested in the American boy and we are trying to get him. But that depends on a work permit, so it will be a few days before we know about that.

"We had asked Maurice if he thought there were any players in the American league whom he thought would do well and he recommended two or three players."

Edu ended his university career a year early to join the MLS draft and went on to win the rookie of the year award and his first cap against Switzerland in October.

"The clubs don't own the players over there, so the MLS are happy to let him go," said Smith, who already has USA winger DaMarcus Beasley at Ibrox.


"We are in the final stages of tying everything up, but we still have to apply for the work permit.

"He is only 22 and has played the last number of internationals, so I'd hope we will get him all right. And he's played in the Olympics."

The signing of another midfielder, Mark Bresciano, is proving to be less straightforward, with a lack of communication from Palermo stalling any potential deal so far.

"We've had problems with that," said Smith.

"They are on tour in Germany, but we've had problems getting in touch with them.

"We made a bid, but we've still not heard back from them. We've had a problem communicating with them."

Meanwhile, Beasley has been added to the USA squad, which already contained Edu, for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Guatemala.

see also
Celtic sign Loovens from Cardiff
16 Aug 08 |  Cardiff
Motherwell eye Webster loan deal
15 Aug 08 |  Motherwell
Rangers complete Niguez transfer
13 Aug 08 |  Rangers
Cuellar seals 7.8m move to Villa
12 Aug 08 |  Aston Villa

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