Walter Smith is hopeful he will have the same squad of players at his disposal for Rangers’ title charge in the second half of the season.

Smith does not anticipate any movement before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, despite some interest in his players.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has already confirmed his interest in Kris Boyd, despite failing to land the striker this time last year when a deal collapsed over personal terms.

The 26-year-old is out of contract this summer and has also been linked with Hull, West Ham and Aston Villa, although Martin O’Neill has distanced himself from suggestions he could be set to make a move for the prolific forward.

Boyd – who replaced Henrik Larsson as the SPL’s all-time top goalscorer last month – could yet pledge his future to the Scottish champions, with the offer of a new contract still on the table.

Another player who has been the subject of speculation is Pedro Mendes, who was named on the bench against Hearts at the weekend for the first time since suffering a knee injury back in October.

Sporting Lisbon made an inquiry about the midfielder earlier this month but have so far failed to follow up their interest with a concrete bid.

Smith now hopes his squad – which has been decimated by injury and suspension recently – will remain intact beyond January, with the club’s financial plight meaning any new arrivals remain unlikely.

„It doesn’t look like there will be any movement,” he told the club’s website.

„We’ve not had any inquiries for any of our players so far as I’m aware and I hope that continues.

„With Kris, we’re not any further forward. There is obviously continued speculation about what he might do but we just have to accept that.

One player who could be set to move on is Jerome Rothen, who joined on loan from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and who has failed to make an impact during his time in Glasgow.

Reports at the weekend suggested he was set for a move to Turkish outfit Ankaragucu and Smith confirmed the 31-year-old was hopeful of the deal being completed.

However, Rothen – who had been back in France with swine flu – has not featured for Rangers since the 4-1 Champions League defeat by Unirea Urziceni back in October in any case and his departure would not be seen as a blow.

Meanwhile, Rangers will have to cope without Madjid Bougherra for a while longer after he helped Algeria book their place in the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup.

The defender was at fault for the opener against Ivory Coast last night but grabbed a last-gasp leveller to force the game into extra-time, with the Algerians eventually progressing with a 3-2 win to the last four of the tournament.

That means he will miss Rangers’ next two games, against St Mirren on Wednesday night and Falkirk at Ibrox on Saturday.

Big_B : „…A game of 2 halves indeed on Sunday. Celtic were rampant for the 2nd 45 and fully deserved the victory. And some cracking goals along the way especially Fortune and McCourt. However this is only one match. Hopefully that…”   

Read the article on Team talk

Gers boss expecting no movement

Walter Smith is hopeful he will have the same squad of players at his disposal for Rangers’ title charge in the second half of the season.

Smith does not anticipate any movement before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, despite some interest in his players.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has already confirmed his interest in Kris Boyd, despite failing to land the striker this time last year when a deal collapsed over personal terms.

The 26-year-old is out of contract this summer and has also been linked with Hull, West Ham and Aston Villa, although Martin O’Neill has distanced himself from suggestions he could be set to make a move for the prolific forward.

Boyd – who replaced Henrik Larsson as the SPL’s all-time top goalscorer last month – could yet pledge his future to the Scottish champions, with the offer of a new contract still on the table.

Another player who has been the subject of speculation is Pedro Mendes, who was named on the bench against Hearts at the weekend for the first time since suffering a knee injury back in October.

Sporting Lisbon made an inquiry about the midfielder earlier this month but have so far failed to follow up their interest with a concrete bid.

Smith now hopes his squad – which has been decimated by injury and suspension recently – will remain intact beyond January, with the club’s financial plight meaning any new arrivals remain unlikely.

„It doesn’t look like there will be any movement,” he told the club’s website.

„We’ve not had any inquiries for any of our players so far as I’m aware and I hope that continues.

„With Kris, we’re not any further forward. There is obviously continued speculation about what he might do but we just have to accept that.

One player who could be set to move on is Jerome Rothen, who joined on loan from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and who has failed to make an impact during his time in Glasgow.

Reports at the weekend suggested he was set for a move to Turkish outfit Ankaragucu and Smith confirmed the 31-year-old was hopeful of the deal being completed.

However, Rothen – who had been back in France with swine flu – has not featured for Rangers since the 4-1 Champions League defeat by Unirea Urziceni back in October in any case and his departure would not be seen as a blow.

Meanwhile, Rangers will have to cope without Madjid Bougherra for a while longer after he helped Algeria book their place in the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup.

The defender was at fault for the opener against Ivory Coast last night but grabbed a last-gasp leveller to force the game into extra-time, with the Algerians eventually progressing with a 3-2 win to the last four of the tournament.

That means he will miss Rangers’ next two games, against St Mirren on Wednesday night and Falkirk at Ibrox on Saturday.

Big_B : „…A game of 2 halves indeed on Sunday. Celtic were rampant for the 2nd 45 and fully deserved the victory. And some cracking goals along the way especially Fortune and McCourt. However this is only one match. Hopefully that…”   

Read the article on Team talk

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