Rangers miss out on Diagouraga as midfielder signs for Leeds United
Brentford star Toumani Diagouraga has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal at Elland Road.
Rangers have missed out on one of their top January signing targets after Toumani Diagouraga agreed a move to Leeds United, Raman Bhardwaj reports.
The Brentford midfielder had been identified as a key player Mark Warburton felt would strengthen his squad and it's understood the Ibrox club made two failed bids to win his signature.
However, Leeds United have now beaten Rangers to the punch with a significantly higher offer and have signed the 28-year-old on a two-and-a-half year deal.
"He’s signed this morning," Leeds United manager Steve Evans told STV.
"I think it was a big decision for the kid. I was obviously aware of Rangers' interest.
"The boy had a big decision make. But obviously you only get to speak to a player if clubs agree a fee. We agreed a fee, so that’s why we could speak to him.
"It’s taken a little while to get there but I’m delighted we’ve got there. I’m grateful to the owner Mr Cellino who’s made this happen.
"I wanted to build. I thought we wouldn’t get there so I was pleased to get it over the line. He was up there with my top targets."
Having signed the midfielder ahead of interest from Rangers, Evans felt he had signed a player who could be like Arsenal great Patrick Vieira in Leeds' colours.
"We’ve got a boy who’s 6 foot 2, we’ve got a Patrick Vieira-type player," he said. "He brings real quality to our midfield.
"He's signed for a giant in English football."
Despite being a Celtic fan, Evans said that he believed Rangers would win promotion to the Premiership, even without Diagouraga.
"I'm privileged to be from Glasgow," he said. "I don’t hide where my allegiance lies and my love and affection is for the team across the city.
"I spoke to Mark when he was appointed and told him what to expect.
They’ll be back in top league, no doubt."