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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 12:48 UK

Rangers agree deal with Middlesbrough for Kevin Thomson

Rangers midfielder Kevin Thomson

Thomson close to Boro switch

Rangers midfielder Kevin Thomson is to head for Teesside for talks with Middlesbrough after a transfer fee was agreed between the clubs.

He trained with Rangers on Tuesday but could soon become Boro manager Gordon Strachan's latest recruit from the Scottish Premier League.

Celtic defender Stephen McManus completed a £1.5m switch to the Championship club on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Thomson has a year left of his contract with Rangers.

Thomson, capped twice for Scotland, joined Rangers for £2m from Hibernian in 2007 and the Scottish champions will hope to at least recoup their investment.

Rangers manager Walter Smith last week confirmed that Middlesbrough had expressed an interest but that no agreement had been reached at that stage.

Smith hopes Thomson will stay with Rangers

Smith had made a new contract for the 25-year-old a priority, but Rangers now appear willing to part with Thomson.

The midfielder has suffered two serious knee injuries in his career, the most recent being in November 2008, but on each occasion Thomson has fought his way back to full fitness and first-team football.

And he was a near ever-present last season as Rangers picked up a league and Co-operative Insurance Cup double.

Middlesbrough have already this summer signed Rangers' top scorer, Kris Boyd, who left under freedom of contract along with Nacho Novo, DaMarcus Beasley and Steven Smith.

Despite negotiating a more favourable budget with Lloyds Banking Group, the debt-laden Scottish champions admit they are susceptible to bids for their top performers.

Algeria defender Madjid Bougherra has been the subject of increased speculation following his World Cup exploits, but there is no imminent sign of a move.

"We had an enquiry from Hamburg about a month ago, but they haven't followed that up," said Smith.

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"We've had no other enquiries for any of our players and I hope it stays that way.

"We've got a group of about 18 at the present moment. We'd obviously like to add a couple of players to that and then we've got some younger players. We would maybe like to see a couple of players come in in the next few weeks.

"We're solid enough at the back. It's maybe the wider areas of the pitch, the midfield areas where we need to add to and that's where we'll be looking over the next few weeks.

"Kris was terrific for us in terms of the number of goals that he brought to the team, but goalscorers are not easy to come by and they're normally not cheap either. It'll be difficult for us to fill that gap, but it's one of the challenges we face this season."

Asked if money generated from player sales would be reinvested in the squad, Smith replied: "A percentage of it would. That's where we stand."

Strachan has moved quickly to strengthen his squad after a disappointing 11th-placed finish last season, with Boyd, Charlton midfielder Nicky Bailey and Livingston winger Andrew Halliday already on board, and has promised his recruitment drive is far from over.

Former Celtic players Barry Robson, Chris Killen, Willo Flood and Scott McDonald joined Strachan at Boro last season along with ex-Aberdeen striker Lee Miller.



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see also
Boro complete capture of McManus
13 Jul 10 |  Middlesbrough
Bailey makes Middlesbrough switch
08 Jul 10 |  Middlesbrough
Boyd buoyed by Middlesbrough move
07 Jul 10 |  Middlesbrough
Smith admits transfer frustration
07 Jul 10 |  Rangers
Rangers to offer Thomson new deal
27 May 10 |  Rangers


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