HIGHLY-RATED young defender Kyle Bartley has joined Rangers on a loan deal until the end of the season. The 20-year-old, who can play at centre back or right-back, has been on loan at Championship side Sheffield United in the first half of the season but in a rare occurence Walter Smith has been allowed to take the player north of the border until the summer.
After the signing of Northern Ireland international David Healy on a six-month deal from Sunderland yesterday, the Rangers gaffer told the media he was still in the market for a defender to shore up the numbers for the gruelling fixture pile-up that awaits the champions.
With the capture of the promising Englishman, the low numbers have been boosted and now the Gers have Weir, Bougherra, Papac, Whittaker, Broadfoot, Foster, Cole, McMillan, Perry and now Bartley in defence.
However the biggest story regarding Rangers on the January transfer deadline day is the potential capture of Blackburn forward El-Hadji Diouf on a loan deal. The Senegalese hot-head is at Murray Park for talks as we speak and there are rumours he is to undergo a medical. The controversial player would be a decent addition for the forward line at Ibrox and would give Smith another option when selecting his team. James Beattie secured a loan move to Blackpool and Andrius Velicka joined St Gallen which frees up wages and room for Diouf to slot in the forward line.
With twenty minutes to go Rangers supporters will be hoping Diouf will sign up at Ibrox as without a doubt the player has quality, he just has to keep his head screwed on and resist the temptation at snapping back at the inevitable animosity from Celtic supporters after his spitting incident in March 2003.
There are also rumours that injury-hit Andy Webster could join old club Heart of Midlothian in a loan deal, or even a swap deal with another of his old clubs Dundee United with winger Craig Conway heading to Ibrox.
It may not be the £50m signing of Fernando Torres but the champions have been busy and you never know they may bring in another player before the window slams shut at eleven o’clock tonight.