Miller set to sign

Rangers were today closing in on a landmark deal to bring Scotland striker Kenny Miller back to the club.

Rangers were today closing in on a landmark deal to bring Scotland striker Kenny Miller back to the club.

The 28-year-old was undergoing a medical, putting him on the brink of competing his return to Rangers almost seven years after leaving the club to sign for Wolves.

Miller crossed the Old Firm divide when he moved from Wolves to join Celtic on a free transfer in 2006, before moving to Derby last August.

His move to Celtic was controversial and returning to Rangers could prove more so.

Providing there are no late hitches, Miller will become the first player to leave Rangers and have a spell with Celtic before returning to the Light Blues.

He will be reunited with the Rangers management team of Walter Smith and Ally McCoist, with whom he enjoyed success at Scotland level.

Although his qualities are well known, the move for Miller has not been popular among a large number of Rangers supporters, who saw him score against their team for Celtic in September 2006.

When he was presented as a Celtic player, Miller stressed he was ready for any flak heading his way, and he is certain to take a similar approach to his upcoming career step.

“You’re always going to get stick,” Miller said in July 2006. “It doesn’t matter what team you play for.

“I’m ready for it, I’m a wee bit older. I knew what was going to come along with the decision to sign for Celtic and it didn’t deter me for one minute.”

There are also concerns among Rangers fans that the club will be buying a player who fell out of favour at Celtic at the start of last season and was considered surplus to requirements when the Hoops let him move on.

Miller was then unable to keep Derby in the Barclays Premier League during his one season at Pride Park, and could only score four league goals in 30 starts.

Understandably, the prospect of competing for trophies at Ibrox, and helping last season’s UEFA Cup finalists reach the Champions League, was immediately preferable for Miller to a season in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Rangers manager Smith has looked for ways to strengthen his attack since missing out on the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title to Celtic, and he is also reportedly keen on Viking Stavanger’s former Hearts frontman Andrius Velicka.

Rangers have also been linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon striker Milan Purovic.

The 23-year-old former Red Star Belgrade player struggled to make an impression for Sporting last season and his agent has reported interest from Rangers.

The arrival of Miller and anticipated signing of at least one additional striker will cast doubt on the future of forwards already at Ibrox.

Daniel Cousin is expected to be sold, if Rangers can find a buyer prepared to meet their asking price, while Thomas Buffel is almost certain to go.

Miller’s Scotland team-mate Kris Boyd could also need reassuring about his future, however he may take encouragement from the arrival of his international colleague who might become a regular strike partner for club and country.

Jean-Claude Darcheville, despite a fine debut year in Scottish football, may also be slightly worried by the arrival of Miller, a player in a similar mould to the strong-running Frenchman, and the impact on his first-team opportunities.

Rangers have already done one deal this summer, clinching a permanent deal for defender Andy Webster who had spent 17 months on loan from Wigan.

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