Five-year deal commits Wylde to Ibrox future as McKay secures work permit
The winger put pen to paper on the contract at Ibrox last night, ahead of the Scottish champions’ Europa League play-off second leg against Maribor.
Wylde, 20, made the breakthrough into the first team last season under previous manager Walter Smith and made his first start of this term in Sunday’s SPL clash at Motherwell. He capped that performance with his first goal for the club as Rangers ran out 3-0 winners to move top of the league.
Wylde was again included in the starting line-up for last night’s visit of the Slovenians, with manager Ally McCoist saying on a number of occasions that he believes the young player has a big future at Ibrox.
Speaking earlier this month after rejecting Bolton’s offer, McCoist said: “The bid from Bolton was not accepted and I don’t want Gregg Wylde to go anywhere.
“He is a good young talent and we feel he has done very well. We want him to sign on again with us and we want his progress to continue here at this football club.
“I now have the opportunity to say any further bids we receive for Gregg will not be welcomed either.”
Matt McKay, meanwhile, is in line to make his Rangers debut at Dundee United next month after the Australian midfielder secured his UK work permit yesterday.
The document was the only thing needed to complete the 28-year-old’s move from Brisbane Roar but he will not come to Glasgow in time for Sunday’s visit of Aberdeen due to his selection in the national squad for the Socceroos’ upcoming World Cup qualification matches.
McKay, who secured the work permit following a hearing at Hampden, said on the club’s website: “I just got my visa and I’m really excited. It took a bit longer than I expected but it’s great to get it all sorted now.
“It’s a difficult process to get through but I’m glad it’s all done now. I have been fast-tracked through and I can’t wait to get started now.
“It’s not the best as you are waiting around when you know you could be over in Scotland playing games.
“I’m staying back in Australia to play in our World Cup games as it’s a long way to go to Scotland in time for the game at the weekend and it makes more sense to stay here now.
“But our second game is in Saudi Arabia so I’ll go to Scotland from there, so that I arrive in Glasgow on 7 September. I’ll be ready for the Dundee United match just after that. I’m used to the travelling and quick turnarounds after internationals in Europe so I’m prepared and all set to go.
“I just want to play now. Our longest wait was for my work permit but once that came I was delighted and now the visa is through too I can concentrate on playing for Rangers.”
In completing the move, McKay caps off a remarkable 24 months, during which time he has been transformed from a decent A-League captain to a player worthy of a place in Rangers’ squad.
While most of Australia’s brightest talent use the A-League as a mere stepping stone for Europe, McKay becomes one of the first players to build his reputation domestically and thoroughly earn an overseas move to a club with the stature of Rangers. It is a sign that the A-League is becoming a bigger player in world football, especially considering Brett Emerton and Harry Kewell have signed deals with Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, respectively.