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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 27, 2006

Rangers swoop to sign Svensson from Gothenburg

Rangers have completed the signing of Sweden defender Karl Svensson on a three-year contract.

The 22-year-old IFK Gothenburg captain will move to Ibrox after a deal was clinched with new Rangers manager Paul Le Guen in Paris earlier today.

Rangers claim they have beaten off competition from around Europe for the signature of the highly-rated centre-back.

Svensson becomes Le Guen's second major signing of the close season, after Austria Vienna midfielder Libor Sionko also joined.

The youngster is part of the Sweden squad who will take part in the World Cup finals in Germany next month after forcing his way into the national team earlier in the year.

Svensson will replace Greece defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos, who left Rangers at the end of the season, and looks set to partner Julien Rodriguez in the heart of the Ibrox defence next term.

Svensson believes joining Rangers will boost his career and he says he knew immediately that he wanted to join the Le Guen revolution at Ibrox when he heard of the Frenchman's interest in him.

'I am delighted to be joining Rangers,' he said. 'This is a great move for me. I really enjoyed my two years with Gothenburg and I will always be thankful to them but this is a chance for me to move in the right direction and progress my career.

'Rangers are a very big club and I know a lot about them. We get Rangers v Celtic games on TV in Sweden so I have already seen what it's like at Ibrox.

'It's an atmosphere I really want to sample. It looks fantastic and I can't wait to be involved.

'I know that Jonas Thern and Joachim Bjorklund really enjoyed their time with Rangers and they did well when they were there. I haven't had a chance to speak to either of them, but I don't need to. My mind was easily made up.'

He added: 'I heard that Rangers were watching me in Gothenburg's final league match with Malmo and I was obviously very interested in that. Things have developed and I'm very pleased that a deal has been agreed.

'I met with Paul Le Guen and he made me feel good right away. I know all about him because he had such great success with Lyon in France winning three titles in a row.

'It is going to be excellent to work with him at Rangers and I really look forward to coming to Scotland.'

Svensson will seek advice on his new surroundings from Sweden team-mate, and former Celtic star Henrik Larsson.

He told the club's official website: 'I know Henrik will be able to tell me all about Glasgow. I hear it's a nice place to live and I know he liked it there.'

Le Guen has backed Svensson to be a success at Rangers but he has warned his new recruit he will have to fight for his place in the team.

He said: 'I know Karl and I am pleased we have signed him. He is in the Sweden squad for the World Cup and I feel he will be a good addition to our squad.

'He has a good mentality and he has progressed quickly as a player. I feel we can make him an even better player.

'Perhaps he can be a good partner for Julien Rodriguez, but it is up to him to show that he deserves his place in the team.

'He is strong and I think he has the right profile to play in Scotland.'