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Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 12:44 UK

Fulham's Davis moves to Rangers

Steve Davis holds off Scotland's Stephen McManus
Davis played for Northern Ireland in Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Scotland

Fulham's Northern Ireland midfielder Steve Davis has completed his protracted permanent transfer to Rangers for a fee of around 3m.

The 23-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan to Rangers.

And, following a summer of negotiations, the clubs finally agreed a fee at the weekend.

Davis had remained in Glasgow to have a medical after playing for Northern Ireland in their 0-0 draw with Scotland and signed a four-year contract.

Fulham confirmed at the weekend that a fee of around 3m had been accepted for the player signed for 1m more from Aston Villa last summer.

Manager Roy Hodgson admitted he was sorry to see Davis go but insisted he could not offer the first-team football that would justify keeping the player at Craven Cottage.

If I'd been able to guarantee him half the first-team games at Fulham, I'd have been tempted to persuade him to stay

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson

"It was the right move for Steven," he said. "He went to Rangers on loan last season and did extremely well.

"He became a real crowd favourite up there. It was going to be harsh for him to come back here and not be a certain regular.

"I like Steven Davis as a person and a player, but the offer we received from Rangers was a good and correct one that reflected his value.

"Sometimes, you also need to take into account the interests of the player.

"If I'd been able to guarantee him half the first-team games at Fulham, I'd have been tempted to persuade him to stay.

"But I couldn't be sure of doing that and I didn't want to ruin his chances of joining a great club where he's already made a name for himself."

Rangers had already secured the signature of Maurice Edu this week, pending a work permit hearing on Friday, after Toronto's USA midfielder watched his potential new side defeat Hearts 2-0 at Ibrox on Saturday.

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They also last week bolstered their midfield with the signing of Pedro Mendes from Portsmouth, while Spanish teenager Aaron arrived on loan this month from Valencia.

It means that Rangers manager Walter Smith has spent about 17.5m this summer following the earlier captures of defender Madjid Bougherra from Charlton and three strikers - Kenny Miller from Derby, Andrius Velicka from Viking Stavanger and Kyle Lafferty from Burnley.

Smith's buying spree had been hastened by the failure to qualify for the Champions League group stages and the departure of defender Carlos Cuellar, last term's player of the season, to Aston Villa for 7.8m.

Davis, who did not play in Fulham's opening Barclays Premier League game away to Hull City, could make his second debut for Rangers in Saturday`s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash away to Aberdeen.


see also
Keane closes in on Healy signing
21 Aug 08 |  Sunderland
Fulham accept Ipswich's Volz bid
17 Aug 08 |  Ipswich
Bristol City land Webster on loan
18 Aug 08 |  Bristol City


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