Football: Steven moves back to Ibrox

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The Independent Online
TREVOR STEVEN, the England midfield player who nearly joined English champions Leeds last week, yesterday moved to their Scottish counterparts, Rangers, when he rejoined the club from Marseille for pounds 2.4m, writes Rob McLean.

The move represents an enormous profit for Rangers, just one year after selling him to the French club for pounds 5.5m. Steven, 28, makes his debut on Tuesday - in a friendly against Marseille at Ibrox - and the Rangers chairman, David Murray, and the Marseille president, Bernard Tapie, will formally conclude the deal in a ceremony before the game.

'The only club I was interested in returning to was Rangers and it is with confidence that I look forward to a successful future at Ibrox,' Steven said.

Only a week ago Steven appeared to be joining Leeds United's European Cup challenge at Elland Road but the transfer broke down because of a contractual dispute with the French club.

Steven, who began his playing career with Burnley and has now figured in transfer deals worth almost pounds 10m, helped Rangers win two Scottish championships in his first spell with the club.

Aston Villa beat Chelsea for Ray Houghton's signature when the 30-year-old Liverpool and Republic of Ireland midfield player agreed to join Ron Atkinson at Villa Park in a pounds 900,000 deal.

'He is the best right-sided midfielder in the country and, remember, he is three years younger than Gordon Strachan was when he joined Leeds,' Atkinson said.