Smith cool on Bougherra talk
Walter Smith says he is unconcerned about transfer speculation linking Madjid Bougherra with a move away.
By James Riach
Last Updated: 09/02/10 5:00pm
Rangers manager Walter Smith says he is unconcerned about transfer speculation linking Madjid Bougherra with a move away from the club.
The Algerian central defender has reportedly caught the eye of Spanish giants Barcelona, as well as fellow Primera Liga outfit Sevilla, after some solid performances in the African Cup of Nations.
Bougherra moved to the blue half of Glasgow in July 2008 and has impressed since his time at Ibrox, but could be on his way out with the Gers embroiled in financial trouble.
However, manager Smith has refused to read too much into recent reports and insists the defender is focused on his current role.
"There seems to have been speculation surrounding him since he came here more or less," he said.
"We had it last summer and in other transfer windows and he remains here. Hopefully that will be the case next year as well.
"From any player's point of view it would be nice to be linked with Barcelona and top Spanish teams. However accurate or inaccurate that is, I don't know.
"But the only thing that concerns us is that he stays here and plays his football and he has been doing that very well for us.
"He has actually missed quite a number of games this season through injury and then being away at the African Nations Cup.
"It's good to have him back and hopefully he can stay injury-free and play for us in the manner in which he has done. He has been excellent since he came to us."
Smith last week warned that Rangers' off-field problems are certain to get worse, although he says the club's best players might not necessarily leave.
"Someone has got to come in for the players," he added.
"People keep saying that someone is going here, there and everywhere.
"But you have to wait for someone to come in for them before you can have any thoughts about them going anywhere else.
"No-one can go anywhere between now and the summer and our sole focus has to be on what we have at the moment.
"My main focus is just to make sure we try to keep everyone on the right track and we have had no problem with that with Madjid in the past."