Rangers takeover nears completion

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Craig Whyte's takeover of Rangers could be concluded by next Friday, Press Association Sport understands.

A long-running saga is set to come to an end, leaving the Scottish tycoon in control of the Ibrox club, along with partner Andrew Ellis.

The deal will see Whyte take over 75% of Sir David Murray's shareholding, with London-based property developer Ellis becoming a 25% partner.

A source close to negotiations told Press Association Sport: "Everyone involved is working very hard to get the deal done.

"There are still a number of areas yet to be resolved and there are no guarantees but we are getting closer and all parties want to get it over the line.

"There is a confidence that if the deal is not done by next week then it certainly will be done in the next fortnight."

Whyte appeared to be on course to complete a buyout when he reached an agreement in principle with majority shareholder Murray in early December but various reported deadlines came and went leading to speculation that the takeover bid had come to nothing.

London-based Whyte had confirmed to the Stock Exchange in November he was considering making an offer for Rangers and was in talks with Murray International Holdings.

He then held talks with Murray and Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston last year, apparently convincing them of his credentials to take the club forward.

However, the due diligence process has proved more lengthy than those involved in the deal initially envisaged.

Rangers have recently been hampered by their debt, which stood at £27.1million in June, although more up-to-date figures expected out any day should confirm a further decrease in the debt levels.

The takeover plans include vows to wipe out the debt and invest £25million in the team over a five-year period and it is understood that assistant manager Ally McCoist will be boss for the start of next season.

Whyte is expected to be at tonight's Europa League second-leg clash with PSV Eindhoven at Ibrox.

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