Davis completes move to Rangers

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The Independent Football

Rangers today completed the signing of Fulham midfielder Steven Davis on a four-year deal.

The Northern Ireland midfielder remained in Glasgow to finalise the formalities of the switch following his country's goalless draw with Scotland at Hampden last night.

Davis, 23, spent the second half of last season on loan at Ibrox and has been a target of manager Walter Smith all summer.

Rangers finally agreed a fee with Fulham - believed to be in the region of £3m - on Saturday.

Davis helped the Glasgow giants win two domestic cup competitions last season as they came close to winning an incredible quadruple.

He is Smith's fourth midfield signing in little over a week following the arrivals of Aaron Niguez Esclapez, Pedro Mendes and Maurice Edu.

Davis, who did not play in Fulham's opening Barclays Premier League game at Hull, could make his second debut for Rangers in Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Aberdeen.

The club will hope the recent spending spree will help appease fans angered by the £7.8m sale of star defender Carlos Cuellar to Aston Villa.

Smith vowed to spend the cash received for the Spaniard on new signings and has so far lived up to that promise.

Northern Ireland team-mate David Healy backed Davis to be a huge success at Ibrox.

He said: "It's a great boost for the lad. He went up last year and I know he did terrifically well.

"Rangers think a lot of him, they wouldn't be spending the money they are spending on a player who they don't think is going to improve them.

"He is a quality player, he proved last night his energy levels are there, his fitness is there, and his desire to get in the box.

"He put in two or three balls into the box, which if we play with a 4-4-2 he sometimes doesn't get the opportunity to break into the box.

"Rangers are getting a good signing, that's for sure, and someone who is going to keep on improving and improving."

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson admitted he was sorry to see Davis go but insisted he could not offer the first-team football that would justify keeping the player at Craven Cottage.

The Londoners are believed to have recouped most of the £4m they paid Aston Villa for the Northern Ireland international last summer.

"It was the right move for Steven. He went to Rangers on loan last season and did extremely well," Hodgson said.

"He became a real crowd favourite up there. It was going to be harsh for him to come back here and not be a certain regular.

"I like Steven Davis as a person and a player but the offer we received from Rangers was a good and correct one that reflected his value.

"Sometimes, you also need to take into account the interests of the player.

"If I'd been able to guarantee him half the first-team games at Fulham, I'd have been tempted to persuade him to stay.

"But I couldn't be sure of doing that and I didn't want to ruin his chances of joining a great club where he's already made a name for himself."

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