GLASGOW: Rangers captain Barry Ferguson has asked the Scottish champions for a transfer because he wants to test himself in a stronger league.
The 25-year-old midfielder is likely to move south to the English premier league and Blackburn Rovers, managed by former Rangers boss Graeme Souness, confirmed on their website that they had made a formal offer for Ferguson.
“I have known Barry Ferguson since he was about 12 years old,” the website quoted Souness as saying. “I have admired him as a player for years and he is one I believe would do really well in the premier league.
“He is a player I would love to have in my team.”
Ferguson could play his last game for Rangers in their Champions League third qualifying round tie against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday. The transfer window closes on Aug 31.
“We have had a meeting with Barry and while I don't want him to leave and no one at Rangers wants him to leave he has said that he wants to play in a stronger league and try his football elsewhere,” Rangers manager Alex McLeish said on Friday.
“It's not about money ... but he feels he wants to develop his career further by pitting his wits against, presumably, players down south. It is a professional decision.”
McLeish was upset Ferguson had announced his decision just days before the return leg in Copenhagen, a vital game for Rangers as they drew the home leg 1-1. The winners go through to the lucrative group stage of the Champions League.
“The timing isn't great and Barry knows my feelings on that,” he told reporters.
Ferguson signed a new contract in February, extending his existing deal by three years. He joined Rangers as a schoolboy and took over as captain in October 2000
Rangers, who have won their first two matches of the new season, play Hibernian on Saturday. – Reuters