Lewis MacLeod has today signed for English championship side Brentford for £850,000 on a three and a half year deal, subject to international clearance.
An informed source has told Scotzine that an agreement was made between Rangers and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, that on top of Edmiston House and Albion Car Park being used as security, part of the £3 million was loaned with the condition that Ashley would be paid £1 million back from a player’s transfer.
The source told us that: “Condition one of Ashley’s first £1 million loaned was secured against the sale of MacLeod in January.”
The 20-year-old will be officially unveiled when the transfer window opens on 3rd January, but will not be eligible to play in their FA Cup clash with Brighton and Hove Albion that day.
Speaking to the official Brentford website, manager Mark Warburton, said: “I am delighted to have secured such a young talent as Lewis. He has had an outstanding season with Rangers. It is testament to the work of the owner Matthew Benham, Frank McParland and his team, and David Weir that Lewis has joined.
“He is a player who can play in all midfield positions, he has two excellent feet and an eye for goal. He will be an excellent addition to the playing squad and I am sure he will play a key role in the second-half of the season.”
Rangers issued a brief statement on their official website, adding: “Rangers Football Club can today confirm Lewis Macleod will sign for Brentford for an undisclosed fee. This is subject to International clearance being received when the transfer window opens on 3 January 2015.”
The Bees will pay 50% of the £850,000 upfront, with the remainder being paid in three installments over an 18 month period. A sell on clause has also been negotiated between the two clubs.
Despite losing arguably their best player this season and one of their top young prospects, caretaker Rangers manager Keny McDowall believes the Ibrox side can cope with the loss of the 20 year old.
McDowall, speaking before the deal was confirmed, commented: “It would be naturally a blow to see him go. He is a talented lad and he’s got the opportunity to move on, which looks like it may now be the case. It’s disappointing to lose him but that is football. You have got to move on.
“Lewis is one of our top players but it is also an opportunity for someone else to come into the team and stake a claim. So nothing has changed. We are still a good team. It’s not one player which makes our team. We have a lot of good players in that changing room.”
MacLeod broke into the Rangers first team in season 2012-13 making 26 appearances that season with 21 more games played the following season scoring five goals. This season the Scotland international scored eight goals in 21 games, with his final game as a Rangers player being the 3-2 defeat to Alloa Athletic in the League Challenge Cup semi final – lasting only 13 minutes before being substituted through injury.
Meanwhile, Rangers have confirmed that Robbie Crawford and Callum Gallagher have returned from their loan spells at Morton and Cowdenbeath respectively.
Kyle McAusland is also back at Murray Park after a spell at Brechin City, while Barrie McKay has extended his loan spell at Raith Rovers until the end of the season, along with Luca Gasparotto extending his stay at Airdrieonians till the summer.