Rangers snap up Manchester City youngster
Northern Ireland starlet Andrew Mitchell has agreed a move to Ibrox.
Rangers have made their first signing of the close season by snapping up Northern Ireland Under-19 player Andrew Mitchell. The youngster, who was previously part of the youth system at Manchester City, will join the Glasgow club next month.
Mitchell, who can play in central midfield or at right-back, has been signed with the future in mind, and will initially join Rangers’ Under-19 squad. However, the Northern Irishman is regarded as a bright talent and is expected to push for a place in the first team squad sooner rather than later.
A regular international at youth level, Mitchell will report to his new club after taking part in his country’s Under-19 European Championship qualification tournament later this month.
Mitchell has come through the Academy system at Manchester City, which has previously produced players of the calibre of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Micah Richards. He was part of the City side that reached the semi-finals of the prestigious Dallas Cup youth tournament last year.
The 18-year-old will be welcomed at Ibrox by two countrymen who are already first team stars. Steven Davis and Kyle Lafferty are both former youth internationals who arrived in the SPL after spells in England.
Though not a flagship signing, the news of a player joining the playing staff at Rangers will be welcome for fans of the club. At least four first team squad members are expected to depart the club in the close season as there contracts have expired and several others have been linked with moves away from Glasgow.
Manager Walter Smith is also out of contract and is thought to be awaiting confirmation of the budget for next season as he decides his future. Smith’s position could determine the fate of some players, with club top scorer Kris Boyd having stated he will announce his intentions in the coming weeks.
DaMarcus Beasley and Steven Smith have already admitted they will be seeking pastures new while Kirk Broadfoot and Nacho Novo are thought to be considering offers from other clubs.