Smith upset by timing of decision on Cousin move

Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, yesterday said Fifa's timing could not be any worse as the transfer saga surrounding Daniel Cousin's move to Fulham finally looks set to come to an end.

The 31-year-old striker will learn today whether his £3m transfer will be given the go-ahead – on the same day Rangers face Panathinaikos in the Uefa Cup. Rangers and Fulham struck a deal on 22 January but require special dispensation for the transfer to be completed because Cousin has also played for Lens this season, and regulations forbid a player from appearing for more than two clubs in one season.

The wait for a decision has left both teams in limbo, with Rangers reluctant to make use of the Gabon international even though he remains on their books. Cousin would have been the ideal replacement for the suspended Jean-Claude Darcheville against Panathinaikos but Smith said the timing of the judgement will probably force him to leave the striker out of his plans in case the move to Fulham is approved.

"Even the date in getting a resolution to the problem has been an awkward one," Smith said. "From our point of view, it's rather awkward in the sense that, depending on when it happens, it affects his availability for the game. We'll just have to wait and see.

"If it had happened today [Tuesday] or on Thursday then we wouldn't have the problems on the day when we are meant to be playing, which is the worst aspect of it. If we did choose him and then found out he had been transferred to Fulham, it's a bit unfair to use him."

Darcheville and Cousin have both operated as a lone striker in Champions League games this season but Smith said he has other options. "We've had a number of the boys playing in that role at different times this season, in pre-season and in other games," he said. "We wouldn't have allowed Daniel to go to Fulham if we didn't think we could cover for suspensions or injury. We feel as though we can cover and we have other options in that department to use."

In fact, participation in the Uefa Cup means Smith could even scrap the 4-5-1 formation he favoured throughout their involvement in the Champions' League.

"I might change it in the games against Panathinaikos," he admitted. "In the Champions League, I felt that gave us a good base on which we could work. We had mixed results – we started really well and finished poorly in terms of results.

"We go into a new tournament now. Panathinaikos are a strong team and we will have to play very well over the two legs if we wish to progress."

Rangers and Panathinaikos are both top of their domestic leagues and enter the tie in decent form. "Our reports on them have been good," Smith said. "Like us, they are sitting top of the league at the present moment so they are a good side and we wouldn't think otherwise."

Steven Whittaker is a doubt for tonight with a hamstring injury, meaning Sasa Papac could be recalled to left-back, with Kirk Broadfoot remaining on the other flank.

Provisional Rangers squad: McGregor, Broadfoot, Cuellar, Weir, Papac, Ferguson, Hemdani, Burke, McCulloch, Boyd, Naismith, Novo, Alexander, Davis, Dailly, Buffel, Adam, Gow.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London