Rangers have announced Stoke City striker James Beattie as their first signing in two years. The striker travelled to Glasgow for a second round of discussions and has agreed a two-year deal with the club with an option for a third year.
Walter Smith confirmed on Thursday that the club had made an offer, believed to be in the region of £1.5 million for the forward, who had fallen out of favour at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke and Rangers have now agreed the transfer and Beattie may be registered in time for Rangers' SPL opener against Kilmarnock on Saturday.
After a reported falling out with manager Tony Pulis, and following the club’s signing of Kenwyne Jones, Beattie was aware that he did not have a future at Stoke. Rangers have now offered the player the chance of not only first team football, but also the chance to play in the Champions League.
Beattie becomes Rangers' first permanent signing since Maurice Edu, who joined the club in 2008. The former England international will now be asked to fill the boots of SPL all-time top goal scorer Kris Boyd, who left Ibrox under freedom of contract.
The 32-year-old began his career at Blackburn Rovers, but only made a handful of appearances before moving to Southampton in 1998, where he first came to prominence. After initial injury problems, Beattie became a regular goalscorer and his performances persuaded Everton to shell out their then record transfer fee of £6 million to take him to Goodison Park.
Beattie did not have the best of times on Merseyside and after two years as an Everton player, he moved to Sheffield United for £4 million. As a first team regular he was soon back on the goal trail and netted a goal every two games for the Blades. He then returned to the Premier League when Stoke offered him a move in 2009.
At the Britannia Stadium, Beattie's goalscoring record was still impressive, but a lack of regular starts and a fall-out with Tony Pulis made it inevitable that he would be moving clubs this summer. Blackburn Rovers expressed an interest and reportedly made a late bid, but Rangers got their man and will expect him to make a significant contribution to their title defence.