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Pedro Mendes not planning Rangers exit

Pedro Mendes training with Rangers
Mendes is nearing a return to full match fitness for Rangers

Pedro Mendes has told BBC Scotland he has no designs on leaving Rangers during the January transfer window.

In an exclusive interview the 30-year-old midfielder, who has been linked with Sporting Lisbon, said: "I've been reading some incredible stories.

"The only thing I know is that Martin Bain (Ibrox chief executive) had a call from the Sporting director of football a few weeks ago.

"I love Glasgow, the family loves Glasgow and Rangers is a great club."

Mendes has only recently returned to full training following a knee injury that has kept him out since October and is under contract at Rangers for another 18 months.

With Rangers currently mired in financial problems, it has been widely reported that a bid for the Portuguese playmaker would be welcomed.

However, the former Porto, Tottenham and Portsmouth man is only concentrating on making his Rangers return.

"I think journalists should think before they start writing," he added.

I got back into the Portugal squad playing for Rangers, so I don't need to go back to Portugal

Pedro Mendes

"I got back into the Portugal squad playing for Rangers, so I don't need to go back to Portugal."

Mendes made his international debut against Scotland in 2002 but has been used sparingly by his country, winning just his fourth cap after a surprise recall in October last year.

He shone in a 3-0 win over Hungary that helped Portugal claim a place at this year's World Cup and hopes to be in the squad for the trip to South Africa.

Sporting sit fourth in the Portuguese top flight, some distance behind leaders Braga and Benfica.

And, as Mendes also pointed out during his interview, any proposed move might be complicated by the resignation of the club's sporting director.

Ricardo Sa Pinto, who has only been in the post since November, has left the club after a heated dressing room bust-up with striker Liedson.

Mendes played for an hour in a friendly game against Dunfermline on Wednesday but this weekend's home game with Hearts may come to soon.

"It's been like a new pre-season," he said of his rehabilitation from injury. "I need games to build to build up match fitness. I feel good but it's up to the gaffer."

Rangers manager Walter Smith may be tempted to include Mendes, given the number of injuries his small squad is carrying presently.

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see also
Rangers facing striker shortage
20 Jan 10 |  Rangers
Rangers dealt Mendes injury blow
21 Oct 09 |  Rangers
Bolton's Mendes enquiry rebuffed
01 Feb 09 |  Rangers

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