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MIDNIGHT BULLETIN: OLD FIRM DOUBLE SWOOP: £7m KENT FOR GERS, £2.25m TAYLOR HEADS FOR HOOPS, FRANTIC EVENING OF INS AND OUTS

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RYAN KENT returned to Rangers last night after Steven Gerrard completed a sensational £7million swoop for the Liverpool winger.

The Ibrox boss had insisted he would wait until the last minute to try to get the Englishman back to the club after last season’s successful loan period.

Gerrard finally got his man when a deal was thrashed out with his old Anfield club at the eleventh hour with Kent agreeing a four-year deal with the Glasgow club.

The Gers had to see off late interest from Belgian outfit Brugge to seal the deal after the Merseyside outfit insisted on a sell-on clause in the contract thought to be in the region of 25 per cent.

Kent now becomes the second most expensive Rangers signing in history with just Tore Andre Flo’s £12million move from Chelsea in 2000 ahead of him.

Gerrard appeared to write off the move last week, but, following the 2-0 home defeat from Celtic, he acted quickly to get a move done with the 22-year-old flanker.

Jurgen Klopp made it clear he would not allow Kent to move again on a temporary transfer and rated him in the £7million bracket.

Gerrard has now met the asking price and the former England Under-20 international will be handed a key role in a crucial campaign.

GREG TAYLOR completed his move from Kilmarnock to Celtic with the fee believed to be in the region of £2.25million.

The Scotland international left-back penned a four-year contract with the champions to finally put an end to a summer transfer saga.

Taylor completed his medical with Neil Lennon’s men on Saturday, but the deal stalled when Killie insisted on a cash-only transaction without loan arrangements with Jack Hendry reported to be offered on a 12-month deal. Calvin Miller was also mentioned, but the Ayrshire outfit weren’t tempted.

The 21-year-old defender trained Steve Clarke’s squad in the afternoon before travelling to Parkhead to complete personal terms once a fee had been thrashed out between the clubs.

Taylor, speaking on the the club website, said: “It’s been a whirlwind of a day, but I’m over the moon to be here and, thankfully, that’s it over the line.

“As soon as I knew of Celtic’s interest, I was desperate to come, so it’s been a great day, certainly now that it’s done.

“It’s a massive club, everyone knows that, and I’m here to win trophies, it’s as simple as that and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

“I’m delighted to be a Celtic player and I want to try and impress the fans and obviously the manager.”

JEREMIE FRIMPONG agreed a four-year deal at the champions from Manchester City, as Scotzine reported earlier in the day.

The 18-year-old Dutch-born versatile defender has been in City’s youth system for three years.
After completing the move at Parkhead, Frimpong, speaking to the club website, said: “It feels amazing to have joined Celtic. What a massive club to be part of.
“I’m just lucky to have been picked and I’m grateful for everything. I’m just happy to be here and I just want to get on the pitch and show the fans everything that I’ve got.

“I’m looking forward to training with my new team-mates and getting to know them. They’ve got more experience than me, so I’m hoping they’ll be able to help me as a player.”

LEE O’CONNOR, another promising teenager, also signed a four-year contract with the champions late in the evening when he finalised his move from Manchester United.

The 19-year-old Irish defender was on the books at Old Trafford, but didn’t feature for the first team.
Boss Lennon has added him to Luca Connell, Jonathan Abolafi and Frimpong as Celts of the future.
It was a day of frenzied activity at Parkhead and Ibrox with some hectic comings and goings.

HOOPY DAYS…Ewan Henderson celebrates with his Celtic team-mates in a 2-1 win over Hearts in February. 

EWAN HENDERSON has left the Hoops for a season-long loan with Ross County. The midfielder has made eight first-team appearances for Celtic, the most recent coming in the 2-1 win in the home leg of the Champions League qualifier against FC Sarajevo on July 17.

ANTHONY RALSTON has moved to St Johnstone on a temporary move until the completion of the campaign.

The Scotland Under-21 right-back has made 15 appearances for the Hoops, scoring two goals, and he played for most of last week’s 4-1 Europa League play-off victory over AIK in Stockholm when he came on for the injured Kristoffer Ajer.

JACK AITCHISON, the 19-year-old striker, has headed to English League Two side Forrest Green on a loan until May.

The hot prospect is Celtic’s youngest ever player and goalscorer, netting on his first-team debut in a 7-0 victory over Motherwell in May 2016. He has made 11 first-team appearances for the Hoops.

STEPHEN WELSH, the club’s reserve team captain and centre-half, confirmed his similar deal with Championship outfit Morton.

JAKE HASTIE, who joined Rangers at the end of his contract at Motherwell in the summer, is on his way to Rotherham United.

The 20-year-old winger agreed a season-long loan at the English League One club after making two first team appearances for the Ibrox men.

Hastie, a Scotland Under-21 international, scored seven goals in 15 games for Well after a loan spell with second tier Alloa.

GRAHAM DORRANS has had his Gers contract scrapped by mutual agreement.

The former Scotland international midfielder, 32, joined from Norwich on a three-year deal in 2017, but has been hampered by injuries and made just 23 appearances – only three under Gerrard.

JASON HOLT will join Old Firm rival Ralston at St Johnstone until the end of the season.

The midfielder goes to Perth after spending the previous campaign with Fleetwood Town. He returned early from his spell in League One due to injury after 36 appearances and two goals.

Holt joined Rangers in 2015 and made 116 appearances, scoring 15 goals. He was part of the Gers side who gained promotion to the Premiership in 2016.

JOE DODOO has had his contract terminated by the Ibrox club with a year still to run.

Signed in 2016 by Mark Warburton, the striker failed to make an impact across his three seasons at Ibrox.

The 24-year-old spent last season on loan at Blackpool, having played only two games for Gers in the past two campaigns.

KIRK BROADFOOT, the former Scotland international and Rangers full-back, has had his contract ripped up by Kilmarnock and the 35-year-old defender could now rejoin St Mirren.

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Editor

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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