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Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

Weir wants Bougherra to stay put

Rangers defender Majdid Bougherra
Bougherra has been linked with a move to the English Premier League

Rangers veteran David Weir has urged his defence partner Majdid Bougherra to remain at Ibrox.

Bougherra, 25, is the subject of growing transfer speculation, with Newcastle United reportedly preparing a 4.5 bid for the Algerian centre-half.

Weir said: "Madjid has done very well for us and we've missed him in the last few weeks when he has been injured.

"I don't know if there is any truth in what's happening but we would love him to stay here."

Weir has struck up a productive partnership with Bougherra in the heart of the Rangers defence since his 2.5m summer switch from Charlton Athletic.

Rangers skipper Barry Ferguson is another unlikely name apparently linked with a move to St James' Park.

But manager Walter Smith insists the club have received no enquiries about either Ferguson or Bougherra.

Smith claims the only player who has been the subject of concrete interest so far is winger Alan Gow.

Gow is in negotiations with Wolves following his return from a six-month loan spell at Blackpool.

Smith targets SPL winning run

The Ibrox boss is keen to trim his extensive squad but would only welcome approaches for fringe players who have been told they are free to find new clubs.

"The group we are looking at are the ones who haven't been participating in the matches on a regular basis," he said.

"We are not looking for anything else at the moment. With it being the transfer window, there will be speculation.

"There is nothing we can do about that but we have had no other enquiries for anyone else other than Gow.

"We have had one enquiry from Wolves for Alan Gow. Negotiations are ongoing and that is the only enquiry we have had for any player.

"There are 28 players on the staff and we have to adjust that number a little bit and we have to wait and see what happens with that over the next few days but, so far, that is the only enquiry we have had for anyone."

However, Rangers sanctioned the 9m sale of Alan Hutton to Tottenham this time last year and Smith admits he cannot guarantee a similar scenario will not happen in the current transfer window.

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"There are obviously players in our squad that we wouldn't like to lose," he added.

"We were in a situation last year when Alan Hutton was sold to Tottenham.

"We didn't want to lose him but the bid was such that we had to take it from a purely financial sense. You can never say that won't happen again.

"We would want to try to keep the group who have been involved in playing on a regular basis together and add to that if we can.

"First and foremost, we have to adjust the numbers that we have and that's the group who haven't been taking part in a lot of the games."

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see also
Loan Rangers' future in balance
01 Jan 09 |  Rangers
Pardew bemoans Bougherra transfer
01 Aug 08 |  Charlton
Rangers sign defender Bougherra
31 Jul 08 |  Rangers


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