Boyd unaware of talks with Rangers over a new contract

Chief executive confirms negotiations but striker is oblivious ahead of Seville tie
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The Independent Football

Kris Boyd yesterday insisted he was in the dark over Rangers' claims they had opened contract talks with his agent. The Ibrox chief executive, Martin Bain, told the club's annual general meeting yesterday he had already spoken to the striker's representative, adding: "I am aware of what Kris sees as acceptable as a contract." But, speaking at Glasgow Airport yesterday morning ahead of tonight's final Champions League Group G game at Seville, Boyd said: "It's the first I heard about it, so I really don't know."

The 26-year-old, who turned down a move to Birmingham in the January transfer window, is out of contract at the end of the season.

Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist yesterday welcomed any move to keep the club's top scorer, who is closing in on Henrik Larsson's all-time record of 158 Scottish Premier League goals.

McCoist said: "It's safe to say I'm a big Kris fan; I think he's the best finisher in the country by some way. Now that his contract talks are under way, hopefully his agents and Martin can get something sorted out; that would be great."

Boyd is doubtful for tonight's match in Spain after picking up a thigh strain scoring his 150th and 151st SPL goals in Saturday's 3-1 win at Falkirk. He said: "I'm still struggling with an injury so we'll wait and see what happens. I'll look forward to Wednesday if I'm fit. If not, I'll be ready for Saturday." McCoist added: "I spoke to the physio yesterday and he said it was a bit touch and go, to be honest with you. In an ideal situation he'd be fit, but we certainly won't risk him if there's any doubt at all."

Yesterday's AGM also saw Rangers confirm that McCoist and manager Walter Smith would work without contracts when their current deals expire next month. McCoist played down suggestions he and Smith were sacrificing themselves for the good of the club, who are £31m in debt and up for sale. He said: "I think, if anything, the players have been fantastic. There's about six, seven or eight of the players' contracts up as well and that can't have been an easy situation for them.

"Obviously, there are families and livelihoods we're talking about here. I think the players have got to take an enormous amount of credit for the way they've handled themselves."

McCoist welcomed the fact Smith would not be forced to sell players next month but revealed that there would almost certainly be no new arrivals at Ibrox.

"It's what the fans want to hear, that we can keep our top players," he said. "In an ideal situation we'd be able to go out in the January market and bring one or two in but that doesn't look to be the case. But from the fans' point of view, I think it's very, very important there's a bit of stability."

Rangers headed to Seville to play what is for them effectively a dead rubber, having been eliminated from Europe two weeks ago after a dreadful campaign.

However, there is prize-money as well as pride at stake. Boyd said: "Every time you pull on the jersey, you need to go and put on a performance so Wednesday night will be no different. We've got a bit of confidence back from the weekend and we want to come back ready for Saturday."

McCoist added: "The group, it goes without saying, hasn't gone to plan but there's a lot to play for."