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Rangers secure "unbelievable” signing of David Bates

David Bates

Rangers have continued their winter recruitment with the signing of central defender David Bates on an 18 month deal. The former Raith Rovers defender, who initially joined the club on loan in the summer, has signed a deal that will keep him at Ibrox until the summer of 2018.

Bates has been a key member of Graeme Murty’s development squad and will now get to continue his progression at Auchenhowie.

"It's an unbelievable move for the lad and I certainly couldn't stand in his way," said Rovers boss Gary Locke.

"It's very rare that a young player will get the chance to move from Raith Rovers to Rangers on loan," he added.

"With my relationship with Davie Weir, they asked to have a look at David and were kind enough to give us a couple of players on loan. David has done very well during that spell and now Rangers have told us they'd like to sign him.

"He is desperate to make the move, so we wish him all the best and hopefully he has a really good career.

"How long will it be before he can start challenging for a first-team spot there? Well he's still got a long way to go but he has a lot of potential.

"It won't really mean any extra money for us at this point but maybe if he goes and plays a lot of games and Rangers decide to sell him, I'm pretty sure the club has covered its back in that sense."

Bates didn’t feature in tonight’s defeat to Falkirk but should return to the Development side in time for next week’s Old Firm clash with Celtic.