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Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010 20:08 UK

Lee McCulloch signs Rangers contract extension

Lee McCulloch shows his delight as he prepares for the new season
McCulloch will be 35 by the time his Rangers contract expires

Lee McCulloch has signed a two-year contract extension with Rangers and the Scottish champions say the midfielder was wanted by other clubs.

Rangers claim the 32-year-old's "performances caught the eye of other clubs" as they won the Scottish Premier League and League Cup last season.

McCulloch was delighted to sign until 2013 ahead of his fourth Ibrox season.

"I want to be a part of things at Rangers and now I'm really looking forward to the season ahead," he said.

"I know the club is trying to secure the players who are going to be out of contract next year and there are efforts being made to bring in new faces too."

McCulloch - who made 44 starts and three substitute appearances, scoring seven times, last season - was hopeful that Rangers could secure a third consecutive title despite not having added to their squad so far in the close season.

It was nothing to do with money - I just wanted to be here trying to win trophies

Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch

"It's our aim to be champions again and hopefully we can get a few players in so that we've a chance of doing that," he told the club website.

The news of the new contract comes days after McCulloch was in hospital having fallen ill following Rangers' friendly with Newcastle United on Saturday.

His problem, thought to be a viral infection, also forced the midfielder to withdraw from the Scotland squad for Wednesday's friendly with Sweden in Stockholm.

The speed at which the new deal was concluded with chief executive Martin Bain and manager Walter Smith appeared to take McCulloch by surprise.

"My extension offer came about very quickly and it was a no brainer to sign," said the player who will sit out the opening two games of the season through suspension.

"Martin Bain and the gaffer asked me what I wanted to do and I told them I wanted to stay.

"It was nothing to do with money - I just wanted to be here trying to win trophies.

"Everything was done and dusted in a matter of minutes. I didn't have to think about it and was delighted to stay."

McCulloch was not concerned that a new manager would be in place at the end of the first year of his new contract - Smith having announced that he will step down.

"Obviously the gaffer is only here for another season then after that the plan is for Ally McCoist, Kenny McDowall and Ian Durrant to take over," he added.

"It's great that I'm going to be around too. Everyone here has made me feel really wanted and it is fantastic to be playing for such a great club."

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