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By ESPN Staff

Rangers complete deal for Pompey's Mendes

Rangers have confirmed the signing of Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes on a three-year deal.

The 29-year-old Portuguese player joins for a fee in the region of £3million and will go straight into the squad for Satruday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League home game with Hearts.

Mendes is the second signing Rangers have made in the last 48 hours following the capture of Spanish youngster Aaron Niguez Esclapez on a two-year loan deal. Mendes, who won the Champions League with Porto in 2004 and the FA Cup with Portsmouth last season, was delighted with the move.

He said: 'It's such a great club and there is the chance to fight for the championship and win cups here.

'When you join a club like Rangers, you can't expect anything but to win things.'

The midfielder immediately threw down the gauntlet to Celtic, vowing to end their three-year reign as SPL champions.

He said: 'It's time for that to change. Everyone here wants to be champions again and to bring happiness to the fans.'

The former Tottenham player also feels his new club will benefit from his four-year experience of the British game.

'That will help,' he said. 'I know the game in England and the UK already so I'm already used to the British game.'

Rangers will be hoping the capture of Mendes helps appease fans who were furious with the sale of star defender Carlos Cuellar to Aston Villa this week.

The club promised the £7.8million made from the deal would be invested in reinforcements.

Manager Walter Smith appears to have lost out to Celtic in the race to sign Cardiff defender Glenn Loovens so will almost certainly now look elsewhere.

Speaking shortly before Mendes completed his move, Smith was enthusiastic about the prospect of working with the player.

'He is a really good all-round midfield player and he will help us a lot,' Smith said.

'He's very good technically and I hope he will come and improve us.

'He can get a goal or two as well, so if all goes well, he will be a good acquisition for us.'


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