Rangers: Kyle Lafferty and Steven Whittaker lead Ibrox exodus
Kyle Lafferty and Steven Whittaker today put the Rangers saga behind them by completing moves to new clubs.
• Steven Whittaker signs four year deal with Norwich
• Kyle Lafferty agrees to four years with Swiss club FC Sion
• Both players this week rejected transfer to the newco Rangers
Kyle Lafferty and Steven Whittaker, pictured below, have put the Rangers saga behind them by completing moves to new clubs.
Norwich City yesterday confirmed the signing of defender Whittaker on a four-year deal, while Swiss club FC Sion landed striker Kyle Lafferty on a three-year deal.
Both players this week rejected a transfer to the newco Rangers.
Scotland international defender Whittaker announced last Sunday he would not be reporting back to Murray Park for training this week.
And Northern Ireland international striker Lafferty followed suit, considering himself free to find a new club.
Norwich yesterday announced the signing of 28-year-old Whittaker, subject to international clearance, becoming new manager Chris Hughton’s first signing in the process.
Whittaker enjoyed a successful five years at Ibrox following a £2 million move from Hibernian, winning Scottish Premier League titles, Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups.
Hughton told the club’s official website, www.canaries.co.uk: “In Steven we have a player who is very versatile. He can play anywhere across the back four and anywhere across midfield, so there’s plenty of versatility there.
“It’s probably a good time for him. Sometimes it is time to move on to a different club and go there with a lot of enthusiasm and he has international experience too.
“He has of course been used to playing at a very high level when he was at Rangers and in a lot of big games with a passionate crowd behind him.
“So the stage of the Premier League is certainly one that won’t faze him with his experience.”
Whittaker, who also appeared in Rangers’ 2008 UEFA Cup final defeat by Zenit St Petersburg, said: “All of my experience to date has been in Scotland so I am really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premier League, I’m very excited about it.
“When I spoke to Chris Hughton I was very impressed with his plans to progress Norwich City and everyone I’ve spoken to in the game has had nothing but praise for the club and the city of Norwich.
“I know [midfielder] Simon Lappin from a few years back and of course I know [defender] Russell Martin from Scotland and I am looking forward to meeting up with the squad and the staff.”
Lafferty, who joined Rangers from Burnley in 2008, played more than 100 times for the Light Blues.
A statement on the Swiss club’s official website confirmed he was joining on a three-year deal, concluding: “He will be presented at a press conference on Monday, then will join his new team-mates for training.”
Earlier in the month, Sion recruited Gennaro Gattuso, another Rangers old boy and World Cup winner with Italy, from AC Milan.
Dorin Goian, however, has refused three offers from clubs in Spain, Italy and Russia because he wants to stay at Ibrox.
And the Romanian defender wants to follow in the footsteps of Gianluigi Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero who stayed with Juventus, even when they were relegated to Serie B for match fixing.
The beleaguered club are still waiting to hear what division they will play in next season after going into liquidation.
A host of big names have walked away from Rangers including captain Steven Davis, keeper Allan McGregor and Steven Naismith.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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