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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 4, 2008

Gers 'delighted' as Hutton turns down Spurs

Rangers manager Walter Smith believes his entire squad will benefit from Alan Hutton's decision to reject a lucrative move to Tottenham Hotspur.

The Scotland right-back, 23, spurned the opportunity to join the Barclays Premier League club after Rangers 'reluctantly' accepted a bid believed to be in the region of £8million.

Smith predicts the news will provide a massive boost as Rangers continue in their quest to wrest the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title from Celtic's grasp this season.

'It does give us all a lift,' he said. 'I don't think there is any doubt about that. From the footballing perspective, we wouldn't want to lose Alan.

'I wouldn't have wanted to lose him at all. We've got a lift and maybe, in other circumstances, we would have had to face a bit of disappointment.

'But credit to Alan, he has been consistent in the view that he has held and he has turned it down without going down to Tottenham or anything like that.

'He has decided that staying here is best for him.'

Reports suggest the full-back could be holding out for an even more high-profile move to Manchester United after also being linked with the Old Trafford club in recent weeks.

However, the official line from Rangers at the moment is that Hutton is keen to continue the development of his career at Ibrox.

'That's what he is saying,' said Smith. 'But I don't want to speak for him. He has his own reasons for making the decision and I can't answer for Alan.

'I can only talk from my own point of view. I think that's one of the things he feels but I can't speak for him overall.

'He has indicated to us that he is happy to stay at Rangers and we are delighted that he is staying. That's all we can say at this stage.'

Regardless of the reasons for remaining in Glasgow, Smith believes the decision reflects well on the domestic game.

He said: 'It's a good thing for Scottish football that we have a number of young players coming through at the moment and one of the best things for Scottish football is that Alan has decided to stay and play.

'I don't think we would ever consider our league to be as strong as the [English] Premier League but it does show, in the view of a number of people, that it's a good league to stay and play in.'

Hutton has transformed himself from mediocre talent to prized asset since the arrival of Smith at the Ibrox helm a year ago.

But the Rangers boss insisted: 'It's not something that has been a conscious effort on anybody's part from the management side.

'From the day we came in, he has been first class in terms of his training, his approach, his attitude to the games.

'He wants to win and he has been terrific. Whatever had gone on in his career beforehand is not for me to comment on.

'But, since we have come in, he deserves full credit for the manner in which he has conducted himself in terms of his training, playing and getting on with his career.'

Club-mate Lee McCulloch welcomed Hutton's decision but backed the youngster to be a hit in English football's top flight one day.

'We are all glad he has stayed to help us mount a challenge for the title,' McCulloch said.

'I spoke to him briefly and I think it is good for him to stay and win a few things first.

'Who knows what the price could be, or where he could go, in a year or two.

'When you look at the way he has been playing for Rangers and in Scotland games it's testament to how far he has come and how far he can go.

'If he keeps doing what he has been doing, there could be so-called bigger clubs just around the corner for him.'

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