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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Rangers in talks to sign forwards Beattie and Smith

Rangers manager Walter Smith has confirmed the club are in talks to sign Stoke striker James Beattie and Portsmouth striker Tommy Smith.

Rangers stepped up their attempts for Beattie after Stoke broke their transfer record to sign Kenwyne Jones from Sunderland for £8 million on Wednesday night. And Smith has not given up hope of adding Rapid Vienna forward Nikica Jelavic to his squad.

Smith, who has not bought a player for two years, said: "We are in negotiations with both Stoke and Portsmouth with regard to the signing of Tommy Smith and James Beattie.

"Just where we are at the present moment is always difficult to say but hopefully we can manage to conclude both of the deals.''

Tony Pulis said of Beattie: "James is up talking to Rangers, so I don't know how that is going on at the moment. If it goes through it will be a permanent deal."

Talks over a £3 million-plus move for Jelavic have been ongoing for weeks and reports claim the Croatia forward is at odds with his club over a pay-off.

But Smith said: "We are still progressing that one. The longer it goes on, the more doubtful it gets that it's going to happen. There has been a fair amount of complications that we didn't foresee.

"A lot of these things don't go smoothly and that one certainly hasn't, but we haven't given up hope on that one yet. A lot of these deals have been going on for a long time, three weeks or so, so it's a bit frustrating.''

Smith, who will continue to assess trialists Georgie Welcome and Nacer Barazite, is hopeful of adding at least one player before the SPL opener against Kilmarnock on Saturday. But he confirmed Andy Webster would miss the game with a hamstring injury.

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