Rangers sign Marseille skipper Hemdani

14th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

GLASGOW, June 14 (AFP) - Rangers have snapped up Marseille captain Brahim Hemdani on a free transfer in a major coup for the Scottish champions.

GLASGOW, June 14 (AFP) - Rangers have snapped up Marseille captain Brahim Hemdani on a free transfer in a major coup for the Scottish champions.  

The Ibrox club announced on Tuesday that the 27-year-old had signed a four-year contract, making him manager Alex McLeish's second close-season signing following last week's capture of Ian Murray from Hibernian.  

Chief executive Martin Bain told the club website Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis, Everton and Bolton were interested in the player.  

"The player was impressed by the facilities we have and, of course, the prospect of Champions League football," he added.  

Bain revealed that McLeish had been keeping tabs on the tough Algerian-born player for 18 months.   

"Alex and I watched him against Newcastle two seasons ago and Alex has followed his progress ever since.   

"We had talks with Brahim last week and flew him to Glasgow to have his medical and to have a look at Ibrox and Murray Park.  

"We gave him the weekend to make up his mind and we were delighted to get the call indicating he was going to join us.  

"He is an experienced and very professional player."   

Rangers chairman David Murray added: "We're talking about a top-quality player who is committed to the idea of playing for Rangers.  

"We have had a huge fight from Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis over the weekend but Brahim wants to be part of our club and we're delighted."  

Brahim previously played for Cannes and Strasbourg before becoming a key figure at Marseille, helping them to the 2003 UEFA Cup final, where they lost to Valencia.  

His time at the club however began to look numbered in April, when he was disciplined after an altercation with manager Philippe Troussier.  

Rangers have been looking to sign a top-quality centreback since selling Frenchman Jean-Alain Boumsong to Newcastle in January for nearly eight million pounds.   McLeish's side will enter the 2005-06 Champions League at the third qualifying round stage.  

Hemdani has repeatedly rejected calls to represent Algeria at international level but has never been called up by France.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article