Bougherra poised for Qatar move
Madjid Bougherra admits he might join Qatar club Lekhwiya but says he is focused on Rangers' qualifier.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 02/08/11 1:46pm
Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra has admitted he is poised to join Qatar club Lekhwiya but insists he is focused on his current team's Champions League qualifier.
The 28-year-old is expected to line up against Malmo on Wednesday in the second leg of the tie, with Rangers trailing 1-0 from the first meeting.
Bougherra has been at Ibrox for three years but believes he has taken his career as far as he can in Europe and is ready for a new challenge.
"Will I sign for Lekhwiya? Indeed, talks are going on," he told France Football.
"I don't want to really talk about it so far. I am completely focused on the return match of the Champions League qualifier with Rangers."
A move to Qatar for a player approaching his peak years does seem slightly strange but the Algeria international insists the league there is improving.
"In the Middle East, football is improving quicker than what people think. Indeed, the level is really different than in Europe," he added. "But I know the goal of the people in Qatar is to close the gap in quality.
"They want young players to come over and help improve the league."
Paris St Germain had reportedly been interested in a move for the former Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday defender.
Yet, he feels outside influences curtailed any chance of that deal materialising.
"I was presented with the project by PSG and immediately I said yes. When I look back over my career there has been a natural progression," he continued.
"A move to PSG would have enabled me to return to a top club in France. I was asked to wait until Leonardo [sporting director] was appointed.
"Unfortunately, two people threw a spanner in the works and then poor excuses were found. I don't really want to get into too many details."