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Sporting confirm capture of Pedro Mendes

Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes has returned home to Portugal to join Sporting Lisbon for an undisclosed fee.

Mendes had been repeatedly linked with a move to Sporting in January and he has now signed a two-and-a-half year contract at Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Mendes, 30, played a prominent role as Rangers secured the domestic Double last season in what was his first campaign in the SPL following a £3 million move from Portsmouth in the summer of 2008.

However, Gers manager Walter Smith admitted that with a number of options at his disposal, he was happy to let Mendes pursue his dream of securing a place in the Portugal squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa.

"We have a number of boys playing in that midfield area just now - Kevin Thomson, Lee McCulloch, Maurice Edu and Steven Davis - and Steven has been playing really well," Smith told the Daily Record.

"We feel as if we've got cover for the central area and from Pedro's point of view, he wants to play with an eye on getting an opportunity to go to the World Cup this summer."

Mendes, who moved to Britain when joining Tottenham from Porto in 2004, has won four caps for Portugal.

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