Rangers sign Northern Ireland U19 international Andrew Mitchell

DESPITE the uncertainty that surrounds Ibrox, Rangers are looking to the future after signing former Manchester City youngster Andrew Mitchell.

The 18-year-old midfielder will initially join the under-19 squad but Rangers' coaching staff are optimistic he will soon push into the first-team reckoning.

Mitchell will take part in Northern Ireland's European Under-19 Championship campaign later this month before arriving at Murray Park.

Manager Walter Smith has yet to reveal his intentions as he ponders his personal future amid talks over the club's budget for next season. The Ibrox side are seeking to reduce their 30million debt and pave the way for a successful takeover.

Much will depend on the success of chairman Alastair Johnston and chief executive Martin Bain in securing a favourable playing budget in discussions with Lloyds Banking Group, who have been trying to recoup their losses from the club.

Smith's future is expected to bring some more clarity to the position of four players whose contract situation has yet to be decided.

Kris Boyd is weighing up an offer to stay amid interest from several clubs, with Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Wigan, Wolves and clubs in Turkey reported to have joined Birmingham in the race to sign the striker.

Kirk Broadfoot and Nacho Novo are keen to stay but are holding out for better offers, with the Spaniard also considering offers from his homeland, Greece and England, where Middlesbrough appears his likeliest destination.

David Weir is considering his future after turning 40 last week while DaMarcus Beasley and Steven Smith have both declared they will be moving on.