Steven Davis last night became the latest player to put the Rangers saga behind him by signing a three-year deal at Southampton.
The 27-year-old was captain of the beleaguered Scottish side but left after rejecting a transfer to the newco club.
Davis has joined newly-promoted Saints until 2015, and told the club’s official website, www.saintsfc.co.uk: “I’m delighted to get everything done and dusted, and I’m looking forward to getting started.
“There was quite a bit of interest in me from other clubs but, after speaking to the chairman and the manager, I saw the level of ambition the club has shown.
“They’ve had a lot of success over the past couple of years to get to this stage, and they don’t want to stand still. They want to keep moving forward, and that was a big thing for me.
“Now I’m just looking forward to getting down, getting to know the boys and getting started.”
The move marks Davis’ return the Barclays Premier League, where he played for both Aston Villa and Fulham.
The central midfielder left the latter for Rangers in 2008 after an initial loan and went on to win the 2010 Scottish Players’ Player of the Year and captain the Ibrox club.
Davis is now skipper of the Northern Ireland national team and Saints manager Nigel Adkins is delighted to have made a signing of his calibre.
“It’s very good and I’m very pleased,” he said. “The work the club has done to make it happen is really promising for the future.
“Steven’s an experienced player – a very talented football player who has played international football, captained his country, captained Rangers, and played in the Premier League. He’s at a good age and comes with a wealth of experience as well.
“We work very hard behind the scenes and we’re delighted that the football club has managed to secure his services.”
Davis becomes Southampton’s second signing since promotion back to the top flight, following Jay Rodriguez’s £6million move from Burnley.
The club also seem close to a third signing after Vitesse Arnhem announced they have agreed a deal over defender Alexander Buttner. The 23-year-old has been regularly linked with a move from the Eredivisie club this summer, with Fulham, QPR and Werder Bremen among those reportedly interested. However, Buttner expressed his desire to join Southampton this week and Vitesse have revealed a deal has been agreed.
“Vitesse and Southampton have agreed the transition of Alexander Buttner to the Saints,” the club posted on their official website, www.vitesse.nl. “The left-back goes as soon as possible to the Premier League club for a medical examination.
“Both clubs spent the last few days discussing the transfer of the 23-year-old defender. Vitesse, on Friday, accepted an improved offer from the English Premier League club. This sees Alexander Buttner depart immediately to Southampton.”