Rangers sign former St Johnstone striker Francisco Sandaza

 

Rangers have announced the signing of former St Johnstone striker Francisco Sandaza.

Former Dundee United frontman Sandaza came close to signing a pre-contract agreement with Rangers back in January before the deal fell through.

Since then Rangers have had a turbulent six months, ending in the newco club's SPL application being rejected and a move to the bottom tier ensuing.

Despite the problems at the club Sandaza revealed he always wanted to play for Rangers ever since he first moved to Scotland back in 2008.

He told the club's official website: "I'm delighted to finally come here and to play for this great club. I wanted to come in January but that didn't happen.

"I'm happy that it's done now and I can't wait to start playing for this team. When I arrived four years ago I didn't speak any English but I knew I wanted to play for a big club like this, at Ibrox in front of a full stadium."

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas was hopeful of convincing Sandaza to return to Perth but the Spaniard wanted to be part of McCoist's rebuilding job at Rangers, rejecting offers from a number of clubs on the continent.

"I had some offers from the second division in Spain and from Cyprus and Greece but Ally called me a week ago and said to me about the project here," he said.

"It's a long project and we start from zero but I'll go for it and I think we will come back soon and I will do my best to be a part of that."

Sandaza, who had a season at Brighton two years ago, said he is fit and available for selection for tonight's cup tie with East Fife, even if he will not manage the whole game.

"It has been very quick," he said. "I arrived in Edinburgh last night and Ally called me and asked if I was able to play tonight.

"I told him I am ok, I have been training on my own so I am not 100 per cent but I think I can play and I don't know how long the manager will use me for."

Thirty- two-year-old defender Emilson impressed whilst training with the club and the former Udinese and Napoli player revealed Rangers are a well-known club in his native Brazil.

"The club is famous in my country because it has such a strong history so it was an easy decision for me to make when I had the chance to sign," he said.

Unlike Sandaza, Emilson will not be available for selection this evening but should be match-fit within two weeks.

"I have been training in Brazil on my own and with a personal coach so I am fit and ready to play," he said.

"I need seven to ten days of training with the team to make sure I am at full strength but I am ready to play and I am delighted to be here."

PA

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