Burke stays with Gers as Clement joins PSG

January 25, 2007

Chris Burke ended months of speculation over his future by signing a new deal with Rangers on the day Jeremy Clement cut short his stay at Ibrox.

As Clement was reunited with Paul Le Guen at Paris St Germain, Burke, 23, clinched a two-year contract extension which keeps him at Ibrox until 2009.

His contract was set to expire at the end of the current season and his Rangers future appeared in doubt when talks between the club and his agent father stalled towards the end of last year.

Rangers bosses eventually tabled a take-it-or-leave-it offer - reported to be in the region of £13,000 per week - which the youngster has opted to take, despite being linked with a move to Aston Villa.

Burke's season has been hampered by injury but he is now fully fit, and with the midfielder's contract situation resolved manager Walter Smith hopes to see the best of him.

He said: ``Rangers have a young team and we want to try and see them mature and play their best football for Rangers.

``Chris has come through the ranks and he has got himself into a position where he is in the first team.

``He has perhaps missed more games than he would have liked through injury but that can happen with younger players.

``Hopefully that will settle down and he will play on a regular basis and produce his best football.''

Meanwhile, Clement was in a rush to return to France after the interest from PSG became apparent.

The 22-year-old midfielder returns to his native France after failing to settle in Glasgow.

He was brought to Rangers from Lyon by Le Guen last summer and indicated he was keen to leave Ibrox after the manager's own departure earlier this month.

Le Guen took over at the Parc de Princes after his 200-day reign at Rangers came to an end and almost immediately targeted Clement.

Both PSG and Lyon were keen on Clement's signature. The fee for his return to France has not yet been disclosed.

Clement told the club's official website: ``It's a great chance for me to go back to France to a big club and also to work with Paul Le Guen again.

``I hope I can progress and be successful there. I enjoyed my time with Rangers, I would like to thank all the fans for their support and I wish the club every success in the future.''

Clement's departure could now pave the way for the arrival of either Paul Hartley from Hearts or Hibernian's Scott Brown.

Smith has already recruited veteran defenders David Weir and Ugo Ehiogu since his return to Ibrox and is now likely to shift his focus to the midfield area.