Ibrox lifted by Laudrup

Scottish football
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The Independent Online

Rangers supporters looking forward to their side's opening Champions' League match against Grasshopper in Zurich on Wednesday will do so with renewed heart and the conviction that Brian Laudrup, one of their most influential players, will be around for some time yet, having rejected the chance to move to Barcelona.

Bobby Robson , the manager of the Catalan club, offered Rangers pounds 9m for the Danish attacker only to be told that the player was not for sale. Laudrup himself has indicated he is happy with Rangers, with whom he has another three contracted years to serve.

The build up to the Grasshopper game involved a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Motherwell, with the three points keeping Rangers ahead of their main rivals Celtic, who whipped Hibernian 5-0.

However, the day was more complicated than the scoreline would suggest for Tommy Burns, the Celtic manager. He is certain to be without Alan Stubbs, the English defender, who was carried off with ankle ligament damage, for tomorrow's Uefa Cup match with Hamburg.

Jorge Cadete, the Portuguese striker, continued his scoring form with a double to take his Celtic tally to 15 goals in 14 competitive matches. The pace and flair of Celtic's attack, which stretched the Hibs defence, will be important again for the match with the Germans, while the club's continuing off-the-field development will be outlined and highlighted in today's annual meeting.

Scotland's third European representatives, Aberdeen, gave Tommy McLean, the new Raith Rovers manager, a tough baptism with four goals from the in-form strikers Billy Dodds and Dean Windass, who have netted nine apiece this season.

Tony Fitzpatrick's hopes of being named the new St Mirren manager today suffered a blow as three of his players were sent off in the 2-1 defeat by Clydebank, taking his club's red card total to six in the last three games.

The St Mirren board will choose between Fitzpatrick, who has been in charge of team affairs, Iain Munro, the Hamilton manager, and Steve Archibald, who is in charge at East Fife.