Falkirk frustrate Smith by rejecting second bid for striker Gow

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The Independent Football

As Walter Smith said yesterday that Rangers are waiting for responses to bids "for a number of players", Falkirk turned down a second offer from the Ibrox club for the striker, Alan Gow.

Falkirk said that Rangers' offer was only "a slight improvement" on the original bid for the 24-year-old, tabled earlier this month. It is thought the first offer was for £100,000.

Gow's contract expires in the summer but Falkirk remain determined to keep him at the club until then, unless someone is prepared to pay £500,000 to take him immediately.

Falkirk have already lost their leading goalscorer this season, Anthony Stokes, who netted 14 Scottish Premier League goals on loan from Arsenal before his move to Sunderland. Gow is their next most prolific player this term, with six goals, five in the his last four matches. He is expected to play for Falkirk against Kilmarnock today, and Falkirk also want him involved when they face Killie again on Tuesday in the CIS Cup semi-finals.

The transfer window closes on Wednesday, and Wolverhampton Wanderers are among other clubs interested in the forward.

Smith has signed two players since taking over from Paul Le Guen, and both David Weir and Ugo Ehiogu - combined age 70 - could feature in central defence today as second-placed Rangers host third-place Hearts, looking to increase their five-point margin over the Edinburgh team.

With Jeremy Clement sold to Paris St-Germain this week, bolstering Rangers' midfield remains a priority for Smith, and he remains interested in both Hibernian's Scott Brown and Hearts' Paul Hartley. "If we can't get the players we want, we may take a loan player here and there who can cover one or two positions where we're not well covered," Smith said.

Celtic, who play at Inverness tomorrow, could give an immediate debut to their new Cameroon international full-back, Jean-Joel Perrier-Doumbe, and Neil Lennon will return from suspension.

* Feyenoord will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne over their expulsion from the Uefa Cup. The Rotterdam club said yesterday that they believe they cannot be held responsible for the crowd disturbances at their group-stage match against Nancy in France on 30 November. Feyenoord were due to meet Tottenham Hotspur in the last 32. Spurs will have a bye into the next round unless Feyenoord are reinstated.

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