Rangers land highly-rated midfielder much to 'disappointment' of rivals

Rangers have confirmed the signing of midfielder Bailey Rice from Motherwell.

The 15-year-old was reportedly attracting interest from Celtic but has opted for a move to Ibrox where he will join up with the club’s Under-18 side, managed by Cameron Campbell and Steven Smith.

The highly-sought after teenager doesn’t turn 16 until October and rejected the offer of a professional contract to stay at Motherwell.

He becomes the latest young player to be recruited by Rangers. The Europa League finalists signed 16-year-old winger Kieron Willox from Inverness CT, as well as Cameron Cooper, Paul Nsio, Souleyman Mandey and Mason Munn.

Bailey-Rice, a Scotland youth international, wasn’t the only Motherwell youngster attracting attention but the Fir Park side confirmed they were able to promote nine of the ten proposed graduates to full-time.

"Although it’s disappointing to lose Bailey at this stage of his development, we respect his decision,” academy director Steven Hammell told the Motherwell website.

“On the flip side though, we are absolutely delighted that so many of the group we had earmarked for graduation into our professional set-up have placed their trust in us and the pathway we think we can provide to first-team football.

“We have already seen so many of them train and integrate with the first-team squad in the first week of pre-season and that’s something that should not only give them all encouragement, but additional hunger and desire to kick on.”

Bailey Rice has left Motherwell to join Rangers. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Meanwhile, Rangers are still looking to sign Antonio Colak. The PAOK striker is understood to be interesting a number of clubs around Europe.

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