Football

Smith hoping to hang on to Boyd

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Rangers manager Walter Smith is confident Kris Boyd would be a success if he opted for a move to the Barclays Premier League.

But he has not yet given up hope of convincing the striker, 26, that his future lies with the Scottish champions. Smith has confirmed the Clydesdale Bank Premier League's all-time top goalscorer currently has more than one offer on the table, as well as the contract extension from Rangers.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish - who brought Boyd to Ibrox in 2006 - has confirmed his interest in being reunited with the forward, although Martin O'Neill has distanced himself from reports suggesting the player is bound for Aston Villa. Asked if he thinks Boyd has what it takes to make his mark in the English top-flight, Smith replied: "I think he has, yes."

He added: "He has gained experience in recent years and I think there is a realisation there that goalscoring, while still vitally important to everybody, has to be added to if you are going to step up and play.

"This season he has shown that, as well as towards the end of last season. It's not a new thing for him to get more involved in the game and play a bit more and start linking up.

"It's something he has been doing for about a year and there has been an improvement in that aspect."

So far, Rangers have had no approaches from any clubs regarding a fee for the striker, who is currently recovering from a hernia operation and who faces another few weeks on the sidelines.

That means the most like scenario would be signing a pre-contract agreement this month and moving on at the end of the season - or penning a new deal with Rangers.

"We want him to stay here," said Smith. "It's an important decision for the lad at the stage of his career that he's at. He's got a lot to take into account.

"I want him to stay with Rangers and hope that he gets what he wants there - goalscoring, European football on a regular basis - and I would hope that would be enough for him. We have made him an offer - other clubs have made him offers. It's quite right that he sits down and has a think about it. That's where we are at the moment."

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Football
Premier League
Alex
Aston Villa
Birmingham

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