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The deal is off: McLaren saga takes a new twist.
21 Oct 1994
RANGERS and Alan McLaren seem destined to wait a while yet before they get together.
The Hearts man was ready to join the gang at Ibrox in time to play against Motherwell tomorrow, but the negotiations never got to that stage as the agent for the two other men involved in the cash-plus-players swop deal, Dave McPherson and Neil Murray, seems to have been seeking too much financial compensation for his clients.
"The deal is definitely off," said Hearts manager Tommy McLean, "and to be honest, I see no chance of it being on again.
The outcome is that McLaren will almost certainly be in his usual place in the Hearts side against Aberdeen tomorrow, a situation that will not disappoint McLean, who, like any other manager, is not entitled to be desperate to sell his international defender.
But McLaren will be enormously disappointed at the way things have turned out, considering how much speculation there has been about his future.
Rangers had hoped that a deal of around £1m along with the two players would be sufficient to end the saga, but they may now have to rethink their strategy, although their intention to secure McLaren's services is unlikely to wilt.
No new manager would be very excited at the prospect of losing his most talented young player a few months after having taken over, but the manager might well have reckoned that in McPherson he was at least getting a top-class replacement.
The 30-year-old, who has often been the victim of unjustified criticism, at least in my view, by Ibrox fans, must feel a little like the Glasgow-Edinburgh train, shuttling between the cities.
After Graeme Souness's arrival at Ibrox, he was transferred to Hearts for £325,000 in July, 1987, and stayed there until June, 1992, when he was bought back from Hearts by Walter Smith for £1.2m.
Murray, who has been at Ibrox since he was called up from Rangers Amateurs five years ago, has come close to establishing a regular place in the first team in which he has demonstrated a versatility that would be very useful for the Edinburgh club.
Now it will be up to the Rangers players if the deal as agreed is to be resurrected.
Taken from the Herald