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Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Boyd closes in on move from Rangers to Brum

Kris Boyd was still waiting on Tuesday afternoon to hear from Rangers about his impending move to Birmingham, according to the striker's agent.

Boyd's prolific Ibrox career will come to an end if the Championship club agree to increase their 3million offer for the 25-year-old.

Rangers confirmed last night they were prepared to sell their top scorer, but his agent Mark Donaghy told BBC Sport: "I'm waiting on a call from chief executive Martin Bain to tell me what's happening, but no deal's been agreed yet.''

The Scottish giants are thought to need the money selling Boyd would bring in, but the loss of a player who has already hit 20 goals this season will not go down well with the club's fans.

Boyd has been Rangers' top scorer for three consecutive seasons, including the 2005-06 campaign despite having joined them only on January 1.

He has scored 91 goals for the club despite struggling to become a regular starter under Paul Le Guen and current boss Walter Smith.

There are reports Smith has targeted out-of-favour Sunderland striker David Healy as a replacement for Boyd - but they were dismissed today by Northern Ireland international's agent Stephen Hughes.

He said: "I have heard nothing. We are not engineering anything. I spoke to Sunderland earlier this week, and nothing was mentioned.''

Smith could stick with his existing forward line, which will soon be boosted by the return from long-term injury of Steven Naismith - whom the Rangers boss compared to the arrival of a new signing.

Naismith played his latest comeback match in a behind-closed-doors friendly today, and Smith is considering handing him his first senior appearance for almost nine months in Tuesday's Homecoming Scottish Cup tie at St Johnstone.

Smith said of the 22-year-old, who joined Rangers from Kilmarnock in the summer of 2007: "This is not the easiest place to come and play, and Steven was just starting to make an impact for us last season when he got injured.

"We hope the disruption that has been caused with him missing so many games doesn't hold him back.

"He is fully aware of what is required at Rangers, and I think he's a player who could come in during the second half of the season and make an impact for us.

"It will be like having a new player in the squad. Steven had his settling-in period last season and played in a few positions for us over that time.

"Now we're looking forward to getting him in our team, although we know it will take time to get him up to full match fitness.

"We have seen with Barry Ferguson that, when you're out for a while, it takes a number of first-team games to get back up to speed.''

Smith added in Rangers News: "He was in contention to play the other day at Inverness, and our hope is he will be next week too.

"I've said all along that we'll take our time with him and make sure he is ready to come back into the team again.

"I think he has just about reached that stage now.

"Steven has been doing very well. We've taken specialist advice on his injury, and the time is right for him to come into the squad once more.''

Naismith was joined in today's game by defender Andy Webster, who has suffered his own share of injury misery in recent seasons.

Webster has made only five first-team appearances for Rangers in the last two-and-a-half years, and even a recent loan spell at Bristol City was disrupted by injury.

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