Velicka deal to follow Miller switch

Rangers have been given the go-ahead to sign Viking Stavanger striker Andrius Velicka.

Norwegian club Viking have reluctantly agreed to let the former Hearts frontman leave them for a fee expected to be around £1m, and the deal is set to go through next month.

Velicka, 29, has already confirmed his appetite for a move to Ibrox and personal terms are not expected to present a problem.

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain is set to conduct negotiations with Velicka, whose only concern may be where he fits into manager Walter Smith’s plans for next season, with so many strikers already at the club.

Viking sporting director Egil Ostenstad said: “I have had a very good dialogue with Martin Bain. Andrius has been given permission to discuss a contract with Rangers over the next few days.”

Former Rangers striker Ostenstad added: “At this stage in his career it wouldn’t have been right for us to block a move to one of the biggest clubs in Europe. He will earn considerably more than he earns at Viking.”

Rangers made Kenny Miller their first striker signing of the summer yesterday and the Scotland international, who joined from Derby for £2m, is determined to win over the supporters who opposed the move.

Miller, who has played for Old Firm rivals Celtic since his 15-month stint with Rangers which ended in 2001, was not a popular signing among many fans.

But the 28-year-old is determined to prove his value during his second spell at the club.

He said in the Daily Record: “Playing for Celtic hasn’t helped in terms of my popularity with the Rangers fans but I’ve heard a lot of things said and most of the time it comes back to one thing – a lot of Rangers fans don’t want me because they just don’t think I’m very good.

“I’ve seen my signing described as a backward step and, most importantly, the manager does not believe it is.”

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