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Welcome To The Rangers, Juan Manuel Ortiz


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ALLY McCOIST has made his first signing as Rangers manager by capturing Spanish midfielder Juan Manuel Ortiz from relegated La Liga side Almeria.

The 29-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the SPL champions, moving from his homeland for an undisclosed fee, after almost switching to Ibrox two years ago.

Ortiz flew into Scotland on Monday afternoon with his British agent Bill McMurdo and was whisked straight to Murray Park for contract talks with director of football Gordon Smith.

He then went through a medical which was successful before he was taken to the stadium and shown around by assistant manager Kenny McDowall in the evening.

After staying overnight in Glasgow, Ortiz and McMurdo returned to Murray Park yesterday to continue talks and have now concluded the deal.

The player is set to travel to Germany with the first-team squad for their pre-season tour today and he could make his debut for the club against Sportfreunde Lotte tomorrow night.

Ortiz is an established La Liga player and after starting out with Atletico Madrid's B team, he moved up to their senior side in 2002.

He only made five appearances for them though over a five-year period and spent time on loan at Osasuna and Poli Ejido.

It was while he was at Osasuna he played alongside future Light Blues defender Carlos Cuellar and the current Aston Villa stopper played a part in convincing him to move today.

Ortiz moved to Almeria in 2007 and in their first season in La Liga following promotion, he played a key role in helping them to eighth place in the league.

In the time since, he has made 126 appearances for the Andalusian outfit, scoring nine goals in all, and he plays primarily as a right midfielder but can also operate as a full back.

Juan Manuel OrtizGers will look to utilise him in a more attacking position and the quick Spaniard, known as Juanma and nicknamed 'Tiger', is thrilled to be joining the SPL title holders.

He said: "I am very happy to be here. I want to start training as soon as possible so that I can stake a claim for a place in the team.

"I am looking forward to working with Ally McCoist. I have heard all about him and I have only been told good things.

"I know I am his first signing and I know people will expect a lot from me because of that. I will respect that and I am going to try to do the best I can for the fans.

"Rangers are a team I have seen quite a lot on television in the Champions League. I almost signed for them in 2009 so I have made a point of watching them since then.

"I have been very impressed by the club and there is a very good standard of player here. I hope to fit into the side and make a good impact with my new team-mates.

"My aim is to win the championship. The team has done very well in the last few seasons so I want to make sure this continues to be the case."

Looks like he will mainly feature on the right of midfield.

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So that is Allan McGregor, Steven Whittaker and Juan Manuel Ortiz all signed up and there is a 5 year deal on the table for Steven Davis, all in the space of a few days - not bad for a team who were losing all their transfer targets :rolleyes:

Fuck your Conway, Hemed and Danns...

From what I've seen of Ortiz in La Liga, he is a good player who will hopefully settle pretty quickly. Certainly has the attributes to succeed at The Rangers. Let's hope for more of the same standard of player, keep it up Mr. Whyte and Ally McCoist (tu)

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