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Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 18:51 UK

Walter Smith sure speculation won't affect Danny Wilson


Smith believes the transfer speculation won't affect Wilson

Rangers manager Walter Smith believes that young defender Danny Wilson will not be affected by speculation about a possible move to England.

Liverpool are one of four Premier League clubs to have been linked with the former Ibrox youth academy player.

"I don't think this contractual talk or transfer talk will affect him. I don't see it will be a problem," said Smith.

"He's a level-headed boy and that's been seen in the temperament he has shown in coming in and playing at 18."

With Madjid Bougherra's intermittent absence this season through injury or international duty with Algeria, Wilson has seized the opportunity to partner David Weir in the centre of defence.

"He has played over 20 games for us this season, which is terrific from his point of view," added his club manager.

Rangers defenders Davie Weir and Danny Wilson
Wilson has performed well in defence beside the veteran Davie Weir

"He has succeeded in doing what he wants to do, which is playing in the first team and he is getting a game week in, week out.

"He doesn't seem to be affected by anything other than the challenge of coming up against different opposition every week."

Rangers' debt levels and Sir David Murray's eagerness to find a new buyer for the club have meant that no new players have been bought in almost two years.

This has meant that there have been increased opportunities for youth team players to break into the first 11.

Smith added: "I would take it that, when he joined Rangers, he wanted to get a game in the first team.

"He is maybe getting a lot more games than he imagined he would this season but he has deserved it and he has played exceptionally well for us.

We are seeing young players from Italy and France so why not from Scotland? Every Scottish club is going to be affected

Rangers manager Walter Smith on the lure of England's Premier League

"He is a young lad who is starting out and enjoying his football at the moment by the looks of things. That's where we are."

One of the player's contemporaries, John Fleck, has agreed on a new deal to remain at Rangers and the club are hopeful that Wilson will sign a contract extension to keep him at Ibrox beyond the end of next season.

Smith said: "We are in negotiations with his agent to try and get him to stay and we have been for a little bit of time. Hopefully it will get settled quite soon.

"Liverpool have expressed an interest in him but we said that we don't want to let the player go so he hasn't got an offer yet."

Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City have also been linked with Wilson and Smith believes attempts from Premiership managers to lure young talent south of the border is now a fact of life for Scottish clubs, including the Old Firm.


He said: "In Scotland just now, any of our clubs could be affected by that kind of thing.

"The Premiership net is stretching down to our better young players at the moment.

"It looks as though all the clubs will be affected by this sort of thing if they have good young players.

"We are seeing young players from Italy and France so why not from Scotland? Every Scottish club is going to be affected."

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see also
Liverpool lead chase for Wilson
05 Apr 10 |  Rangers
McCoist keen on Wilson Ibrox stay
03 Apr 10 |  Rangers

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Scottish Sun Rangers 3 Aberdeen 1 - 17 hrs ago
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