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By ESPN Staff

Naismith hopes for Jelavic stay

Rangers midfielder Steven Naismith has welcomed the club's decision to reject a £6.5million bid for team-mate Nikica Jelavic and hopes they can retain his services beyond Wednesday's transfer deadline.

• Gers reject Jelavic bid

The Croatia striker was targeted by Leicester on Tuesday but the offer was thrown out by the Scottish champions. Jelavic arrived in a £4 million deal from Rapid Vienna last August and netted 19 goals in his debut season despite almost four months on the sidelines through injury.

Naismith said: "He has been a massive player for us since he has been at the club and hopefully we can keep him. Hopefully if any more bids come in for him, they will be rejected.

"The squad is finally being built up and we have more numbers and quality in the squad. Hopefully, if we can keep everybody at the club, we can go on to do well this season.

"The boys who have been here have shown over the last few years that having a tight group and the bonding that's been here is what has brought us our success. Taking anybody out of that would be a massive blow so we are hoping we can keep Jelavic and push on and do well domestically this season.

"Everybody has their price but, luckily for me, I'm not the one who decides what price anybody is. He is a top-class forward and in football years he still has a bit to go before he reaches his peak. I'm sure he will be a world-class player by the end of his career.''

While keen to hold onto the players Rangers already have at their disposal, Naismith would like to see boss Ally McCoist beat the deadline and strengthen his squad further.

He added: "If the manager can do something and get the backing and get a few more in, it would definitely help with competition for places.

"But, at this moment in time, the manager will be happy with the size of the squad, especially now that we have been knocked out of Europe and don't have as many games as we would have had.''

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