Alexander set to sign for Rangers

TRANSFER activity was hotting up at Portman Road today with goalkeeper Neil Alexander on his way to sign for Glasgow Rangers.The Blues confirmed they have lined up a Premier League keeper as a replacement.

Elvin King

TRANSFER activity was hotting up at Portman Road today with goalkeeper Neil Alexander on his way to sign for Glasgow Rangers.

The Blues confirmed they have lined up a Premier League keeper as a replacement.

Macedonian international midfielder Velice Sumulikoski completed his transfer from Turkish club Bursaspor for a reported £500,000, while the Blues are still poised to make a late swoop to capture their number one target David Norris.

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This is despite Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock virtually writing off the Norris deal.

Town have agreed a fee for Alexander - believed to be around half a million pounds - and the 29-year was on his way to Glasgow this morning.

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Ipswich have given Alexander the green light to talk to Scottish giants Rangers, and they have confirmed that they expect a Premier League keeper to replace him in Saturday's game at Sheffield Wednesday.

Signed on a free transfer from Cardiff last summer, Alexander's family have not settled and a move back to north of the border is a dream come true for the Scottish international.

With a chance to play in the Champions League, and join one of the biggest clubs in Europe, Alexander, who saved a penalty at Portman Road last night, is happy to move.

Rangers are looking for a replacement for understudy Roy Carroll, who is expected to move to Derby County.

Town do not feel they can stand in Alexander's way, and the formalities are expected to be completed by the time the transfer window closes tomorrow at midnight.

Sumulikoski officially completed his transfer this lunchtime, and with a work permit guaranteed the 26-year-old will be available to bolster the Town midfield against the Owls at Hillsborough.

Town are still actively pursuing Plymouth's Norris after boardroom discussions at Portman Road following last night's Coca-Cola Championship 0-0 draw between the two clubs.

And the long drawn-out saga could go right down to the wire.

Talks between the two chairmen are believed to have improved the chances of a move regardless of Sturrock's public comment that no bid had come near his valuation.

“David will only go over the next two days if Plymouth's price is met,” said Sturrock, who added that Town's reported third offer of £2million was way below the figure that needs to be reached.

“David is the heart of our team having blossomed since he arrived at Home Park. His urgency and drive is infectious, and I am looking to strengthen my squad around him.”

Town boss Jim Magilton confirmed his continuing interest in Norris, saying: “We have conducted our enquiries with respect and I am still interested in bringing him here.”

There could be brinkmanship from both sides right up to tomorrow night's closing of the transfer window, with Town chief executive Derek Bowden saying today:

“We are still hopeful of signing David Norris despite having reached our price ceiling with our third bid.

“We will not be paying silly money, but it depends what fee Plymouth will consider at the end of the day to be a price they can take.”

With Norris reported to be unhappy that certain assurances have not be met at Home Park, a move to Ipswich is believed to be what he wants regardless of possible continued interest from Leicester City.

Meanwhile, hopes are fading that Leicester's central defender Gareth McAuley will be making a move to Portman Road despite last week's second bid.

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