GRAEME MURTY has slammed SV Hamburg for announcing the signing of David Bates before tomorrow’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic.

The Bundesliga side upset the caretaker boss after unveiling their four-year deal with the 21-year-old centre-half earlier this week.

The Ibrox outfit had been in talks with the former Raith Rovers defender over an extension to his contract that will expire in the summer.

Murty said: “I think we, as a club, would have been better served if we had waited until after the semi-final to have that out in the public domain.

“That is what we asked for. Unfortunately, the people we are dealing with did not respect that and we have to deal with these questions now rather than dealing with a fantastic game on Sunday.

“David was starting to establish himself as a centre-half here, but he has made that choice.”

Murty reflected on the Ibrox offer and added: “I am disappointed more than surprised that he hasn’t accepted it. The economic reality is they have come in and made an offer we can’t match. Their demands for parity on that weren’t something we were prepared to match.

“What he wanted was excessive and it wasn’t something we could or were prepared to pay. Whether he has made a mistake will only be borne out by what happens in the future, but he has taken the opportunity to go and expand his football knowledge elsewhere.

“I felt he could be an international footballer by remaining at Rangers and I put that to him. He has lots to work on and develop, but I feel he could do that here.”

Bates will miss the Cup-tie against the Hoops through injury, but Murty hinted he could still play for the Ibrox side before the end of the season.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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