Rangers chief executive Martin Bain has assured fans the club has no intention of selling Madjid Bougherra this summer as fellow defender David Weir agreed a new deal.
Skipper Weir, 40, will remain at the Scottish champions for another year after an impressive campaign which saw him voted player of the year by both the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and the Scottish Football Writers' Association. And, while thrilled to hear the veteran will be staying with the Glasgow giants for a fourth season, Bain is well aware the Ibrox faithful will be anxious about the future of another central defender.
Bougherra's efforts with Algeria at the FIFA World Cup™ have prompted speculation he could be set for a switch to the Barclays Premier League, with Arsenal reportedly among those interested, or to the Bundesliga with Hamburg. But Bain insists Rangers have no plans to sanction the sale of Bougherra or teenage prospect Danny Wilson, who has been the subject of interest from Liverpool.
He said: "The fans are probably fed up reading about speculation over Madjid Bougherra but I can categorically state that it is not our intention to sell him. He still has two years left of his contract with us and we certainly hope he is with us for the start of the new season.
"Danny Wilson is also under contract for another season and although he has turned down a new contract with us, he remains our player. We want to have as strong a squad as possible for the new campaign and having both of these players will undoubtedly give us good strength at the back.
The fans are probably fed up reading about speculation over Madjid Bougherra but I can categorically state that it is not our intention to sell him.
"I said at the end of May that we do have a budget for the recruitment of new players - and clearly we need to bring new players in given that we have lost a number of our first-team squad. Walter and his backroom team are now charged with finding the right players and we are confident that they will do that."
Kirk Broadfoot recently signed a new three-year deal and Weir was expected to follow suit and commit himself for another year after manager Walter Smith and his backroom staff penned new contracts in May.
Bain told the club's official website: "I'm delighted to announce that Davie Weir will be with us again next season. We were always hopeful that he would agree to play in the 2010/11 campaign and we have now concluded a deal to that effect.
"It's great news for everyone because there is no doubting his importance to the team and his influence on those around him. Davie's professionalism and leadership qualities make him a superb role model and there is little doubt that he has become a great Rangers captain.
"It's remarkable to think that Walter signed him initially in January 2007 as a stop-gap measure to steady the defence. Now here we are three and half years, six trophies and a European final later and Davie is still as important as ever. He did not miss a minute of our championship campaign last season which is testimony to the terrific condition he keeps himself in."