Lovenkrands set to pledge himself to Rangers 'for life'

By Chris Roberts
Tuesday 07 January 2014 06:11
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The Rangers manager Alex McLeish has expressed his delight at the news that Peter Lovenkrands wants to stay at Ibrox "for life".

The highly-rated Danish international winger has been at the centre of uncertainty as negotiations begin over a new, improved contract. Internazionale have been rumoured to be interested in him, but Lovenkrands is adamant he wants to remain at Rangers.

McLeish said: "It's difficult to see players spending their entire careers at one club. But Peter in the last couple of years has become an established player here and we are currently speaking to him and his agent and are at the first steps of a contract extension.

"I know Peter likes it here and the feeling's mutual and I like to keep all the players as long as we can to create some consistency and quality at the club."

Lovenkrands confirmed: "There is nothing I want more than to stay at Ibrox. I'd like to sign a long-term contract here and I'm sure we can agree one very quickly. In fact, if things go as I expect them to, I wouldn't mind staying here for the rest of my career. I love the club more than anything. I love the fans and I love living in Scotland.

"People who know me will realise I would never say I'm only in it for the money. I never demanded more cash or threatened to leave. I want to stay here and do everything I can to prove that. I love everything about being at Rangers. The fans are fantastic and I'm really excited to play here.

"Obviously, I'm flattered that other teams are interested in me. Big clubs like Inter Milan and Juventus have been mentioned but if sides like that are keen I must be doing something right at Ibrox.

"I'm flattered but I'm not leaving because I don't want to go anywhere else. Moving on is not even in my mind and, if things go to plan, then I would have no problem staying at Rangers for life."

Lovenkrands is certain to start in a strong Rangers side which begins their defence of the CIS Insurance League Cup at Hibernian tonight.

McLeish says he understands the call from Scotland coach Berti Vogts to make the competition an all-Scottish affair. However he believes that such a move would devalue the League Cup.

"I've never given it a lot of thought," he added. "I understand Berti's reasoning behind it. But it won't be something that the sponsors want to see. If they are paying big money for the competition then they want to see the best players.

"You see the League Cup being devalued in England with reserve teams being employed by the top three or four top teams in the early rounds."

McLeish is going to field his strongest team possible at Easter Road and admits he is serious about retaining the CIS Insurance Cup because it was his first silverware as Rangers manager. They followed that up by winning the Tennent's Scottish Cup against Celtic to ease the agony of missing out to their arch-rivals in the Scottish Premier League for the second successive year.

McLeish concedes it is a shame there is no Uefa Cup place up for grabs for the winners, but that does not affect his love of the competition.

"The cup is very important to me," he insisted. From December last year, that and the Scottish Cup were the only realistic targets for us and we managed to succeed in both.

"I've definitely got a big feeling for the CIS Cup. It's a shame that a Uefa Cup place doesn't happen for the eventual winners, but it's still a very important trophy."

Scotland will have two Champions' League places next season, but they will have just two places in the Uefa Cup. McLeish believes Scottish clubs are responsible for that poor representation. "We have to do better in Europe to get more places. We only have ourselves to blame for that."

McLeish has some concerns over the fitness of a couple of his players ahead of tonight's tricky third-round trip, but there is still no place for Christian Nerlinger or Neil McCann.

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