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Walter Smith gets ready to clinch deadline deals

Rangers manager Walter Smith hopes the departure of Pedro Mendes and Jerome Rothen will pave the way for him to strengthen his squad before the end of the transfer window.

Mendes is set to seal a move to Sporting Lisbon after both clubs agreed a fee, while Rothen's loan spell from Paris Saint Germain has come to an end.

Smith now faces a race against time to beat the deadline and recruit the personnel he feels can bolster the Scottish champions' hopes of retaining the Scottish Premier League title, with Falkirk up next today at Ibrox.

“I would hope a little bit of money would be freed up, but we will wait and see,” he said.

“I won't take anyone unless it's someone I really feel can come in and make a difference for us.

“The one area that's causing us a little bit of a problem more than anything else is in the wider areas in the pitch.

“We've had to mess Steven Davis around, he has been playing in the middle and doing very well and we've asked him to go back to the wider areas.

“So that's an area where we could really be looking for someone to come in.”

Asked whether he had identified any targets, Smith replied: “It's not quite as simple as that because we had to get rid of a few before we could look so it's not really been possible to do that.

“It's just one of those situations that we are in. We can now at least have a look and if it doesn't come to anything we carry on.”

Several players — including Kris Boyd, Kirk Broadfoot, Nacho Novo and John Fleck — are in the process of negotiating new con

tracts, but Smith was unsure whether extra cash would be made available to boost offers which have already been made.

Rangers look set to be without Kenny Miller against Falkirk, as the striker will undergo a late fitness test, but is rated doubtful with a hamstring injury.

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