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Blackburn's El Hadji Diouf makes loan move to Rangers

El Hadji Diouf will join Rangers
Rangers have completed the signing of the former Senegal international

Rangers have completed a loan deal to sign former African footballer of the year El Hadji Diouf, 30, from Blackburn until the end of the season.

Diouf's ability to play right-midfield or as a striker fills gaps identified recently by Ibrox manager Walter Smith.

He told the Rangers website: "I am very happy to join one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"This club has a great history. It will be great to wear the shirt and I will do my best."

Diouf joined Liverpool in 2002 from Lens then moved to Bolton, Sunderland in 2008 and Ewood Park a year later.

While at Liverpool, he was fined £5,000 for spitting on a Celtic fan during a Uefa Cup match in March 2003.

Having travelled to Glasgow on Monday and completed the deal at Rangers' Murray Park training complex, Diouf explained his reasons for moving to the club.

I know this is only a loan move but I would love to make it permanent. I need a change and this is great for me

Rangers' loan signing El Hadji Diouf

"Rangers are known throughout the world and I want to be a legend here," he said.

"We have a huge game on Wednesday against Hearts because we must win every game in the league and then of course it's Celtic on Sunday.

"I know all about the big rivalry between the two clubs. I have seen many Rangers-Celtic games because a few of my friends have played for Rangers like Amdy Faye, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Fabrice Fernandes.

"Every one of them always said great things about the club in the past and I always remembered.

"I know this is only a loan move but I would love to make it permanent. I need a change and this is great for me."

Diouf played for Liverpool on 55 occasions and made a loan move to Bolton in season 2004/05 after which he signed on at the Reebok club on a longer-term deal.

After three seasons he was signed by Roy Keane at Sunderland but soon moved to Blackburn Rovers where he teamed up once again with Sam Allardyce, his previous manager at Bolton.

However, Steve Kean, the Scot now in charge at Ewood Park, seemingly prefers other forwards to Diouf, paving the way for the former Senegal World Cup player to seek a loan deal.

Another new recruit at Rangers is Arsenal defender Kyle Bartley, 20, who has joined on loan until the end of the current campaign.

He, Diouf and David Healy go into Smith's squad for the SPL home match against Hearts on Wednesday and the Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against Celtic on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian striker Andrius Velicka has been released by Rangers and has moved to Swiss club St Gallen.

Velicka had been at Aberdeen on loan, where he had traded places with defender Ricky Foster who made the trip south on loan to Ibrox, but manager Craig Brown told him his future lay elsewhere.

One piece of business that did not go through for Rangers on the January transfer deadline day was a bid to do a straight swap deal with Dundee United for winger Craig Conway.

Rangers' offer of 28-year-old defender Andy Webster in return for the former Ayr United player was rejected.

Instead, Rangers released Webster from his contract that was due to expire in the summer and he is now free to negotiate a deal after the transfer deadline as a free agent, most likely with Hearts.

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see also
Blackpool land Reid and Beattie
31 Jan 11 |  Blackpool
Arsenal loan Bartley to Rangers
31 Jan 11 |  Rangers
Diouf ends international career
08 Oct 07 |  African
Diouf in Senegal squad
10 Oct 07 |  African
Diouf fined for spitting
04 Sep 03 |  African

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