Rangers recall Ferguson and target Smith

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The Independent Football

Barry Ferguson will return to the Rangers squad for the Scottish Cup match at Dunfermline tomorrow, six days after being stripped of the captaincy and dropped by Paul Le Guen, who left the club on Thursday.

It is expected that Walter Smith, the Scotland manager, and Ally McCoist, who is part of Smith's set-up with Scotland, will form a new management team.

The caretaker manager Ian Durrant gave his reasons for bringing Ferguson back: "It's been a traumatic week for Barry but I've been monitoring him. He seemed a bit down so I gave him a wee cuddle and hopefully he's up for it on Sunday."

The chairman Sir David Murray wants Smith and McCoist in place as soon as possible, but Smith is under contract with the Scottish FA until 2008 and McCoist has TV commitments. Smith and David Taylor, the chief executive of the SFA, are on holiday. Talks are expected over the weekend before an announcement early next week.

Durrant said yesterday that the managerial situation "could change" at any moment. On the speculation about Smith and McCoist, he added: "If that happens I'll be more than delighted as I've worked with the two of them before."

Andy Webster has set his sights on winning a permanent move to Rangers after completing his loan move to the Ibrox club last night. The 24-year-old defender has joined until the end of the season after failing to hold down a first-team place at Wigan.

* Celtic have tabled a late bid to sign the 18-year-old striker Anthony Stokes from Arsenal. Charlton Athletic and Sunderland were thought to have agreed a fee with Arsenal for the Irishman but Celtic are believed to have matched the fee.

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