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Gers complete Beattie deal

Rangers have confirmed the signing of striker James Beattie from Stoke.

Beattie, 32, has long been linked with an exit from the Britannia Stadium and Rangers made their move for the former England international this week, with the player travelling to Ibrox for talks on Thursday.

Rangers boss Walter Smith said prior to the deal that he believed Beattie would be an ideal signing for the club.

"James is an experienced striker and I feel that we need that," he said. "You can go with youngsters in other areas of the team but, when you're playing for the Old Firm, you need experience up front.

"He has a decent goalscoring record and also has a physical presence which I feel we need in order to complement Kenny. James is charismatic and that will be handy but we mainly want him because I think he can come in and do a good job.

"We've looked at how he's played previously and what he can bring to us. I believe he can be a success and kick-start his career which is at a standstill at Stoke."

Beattie has declared himself fit to play for Rangers in their Scottish Premier League opener against Kilmarnock at Ibrox and admitted he is excited by the prospect of appearing in front of 50,000 supporters.

"I'm delighted to sign for a club like Glasgow Rangers and it was quite a quick deal as far as I'm concerned,'' Beattie said at the media conference.

"I came to Ibrox on Thursday morning and was met by the gaffer and (chief executive) Martin Bain. They showed me around the stadium, which was magnificent and you can see it is a club steeped in history.

"I then walked out on to the pitch, which was magnificent. The walk out, even when the stadium was empty, was something so I'm looking forward to walking out when it's full.

"There was interest from other clubs but when you come here and speak to Walter Smith and have a look around, the decision was easy.''

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