The Rangers captain, Barry Ferguson, is set to play his final game for the club tonight in the Champions' League qualifier against FC Copenhagen. Ferguson is on the point of completing a move to Blackburn Rovers as the club's manager, Graeme Souness, will raise his bid to £6m to see off Everton's interest.
Souness hopes to complete the deal by the weekend, and Blackburn are willing to pay £35,000 a week, a figure that Everton cannot match. David Moyes only has £5.5m from the collapse of Sean Davis's move from Fulham - and the salary is out of his range, too.
Souness is now waiting on Rangers' Champions' League qualifier with FC Copenhagen, which is level at 1-1 after the first leg, before trying to close the deal. A defeat for his old club would obviously help his case. Souness said: "We are still talking to them. The first offer was not acceptable so we will see what will happen tomorrow."
Blackburn will not make a decision on whether to sign the Italian international Dino Baggio from Lazio until they know the outcome of the Ferguson talks.
Meanwhile, the Rangers manager, Alex McLeish, has confirmed Ferguson is still on course for a farewell appearance. McLeish ignored calls for the captain to be left at home while his team-mates attempt to improve on a first-leg draw with the Danish champions.
Ferguson was the first player to check in at Glasgow airport and McLeish revealed that the only doubt about the captain's participation had been his fitness. He said: "He plays. He did come in on Sunday with a calf double the size of normal but he has recovered from that and he will play."
McLeish added: "At the moment we are going to put a line under it until we wait and see what happens after the European game. That's the most important thing. The club always comes first."
The former Rangers defender Arthur Numan believes the structure of Scottish football has played a part in Ferguson's decision to move on from the Glasgow club. Numan feels the 12-team set-up in the Premier League will have encouraged his former team-mate's decision.
"In my first two seasons at Ibrox, we played St Johnstone 11 times," Numan said. "My last home game was against Dunfermline in May but that was the seventh time we had played against them that season. I'm not being disrespectful to these clubs but there comes a time when you wonder about a different challenge in your football."
The Rangers chairman, John McClelland, has insisted that failure to reach the Champions' League would not be a financial disaster for the club. With debts estimated in excess of £60m, Rangers could do with the money, and qualification could be worth up to £10m.
But McClelland said qualification would be a bonus rather than a necessity. He said: "Clearly it is important but we haven't budgeted for a long stay in the Champions League or even the Champions League itself."
Rangers squad: Klos, Ricksen, Berg, Khizanishvili, Malcolm, Ball, Arteta, Ferguson, Vanoli, Nerlinger, Capucho, Burke, Mols, Arveladze, McGregor, Ross, De Boer, Moore, Hughes.Reuse content