Rangers move to sign Juan Manuel Ortiz from Almeria

Juan Manuel Ortiz will play at Ibrox this season

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Rangers have confirmed the signing of Spanish midfielder Juan Manuel Ortiz from Almeria for an undisclosed fee.

Ortiz, 29, has signed a three-year contract with the Ibrox outfit after successfully passing his medical on Monday, Rangers announced on their website.

Ortiz becomes the first signing for new Rangers manager Ally McCoist.

The versatile Ortiz came up through the ranks at Atletico Madrid before making his senior debut in 2002. Ortiz only played a handful of first-team games during his time at Atletico and had loan spells at Osasuna and Polideportivo Ejido before moving to Almeria in 2007.

Ortiz made over 100 appearances for Almeria, who were relegated from the Spanish Primera Division last season.

During his time at Osasuna, Ortiz played alongside former Gers defender Carlos Cuellar and it was his fellow Spaniard who helped convince him to move to Scotland.

“When the chance came up to come to Rangers, I spoke to Carlos about it and he had only good things to say,” Ortiz said on Rangers’ official website. “He told me the club is massive and that he was very, very happy here so he told me it was a move I should make.”

Rangers have been in talks with Aston Villa about the possibility of bringing Cuellar back north of the border, and Ortiz hopes the centre-back decides to join him at Ibrox.

“Carlos is a good player and I know Rangers have been interested in signing him again so it would be good if that happened,” added Ortiz. “I would be delighted about that. Apart from him being an ex-team-mate of mine, we are friends and he is an excellent player.”


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