David Bates: Rangers boss Graeme Murty admits club were priced out of deal for defender

David Bates
David Bates has signed a four-year contract with German outfit Hamburg

Rangers could not compete with Hamburg's contract offer to departing defender David Bates, according to Ibrox manager Graeme Murty.

The 21-year-old will move to Germany this summer on a four-year deal after failing to agree a contract at Ibrox.

"We were in negotiations with David and wanted him to stay - but Hamburg have come along and made an offer we can't match," Murty said.

"David has thought about his career and decided to take them up on that offer."

And the manager added: "That is the reality of the situation. We're disappointed as we've obviously invested time and energy in David. We've played him, helped his development but he has decided to go elsewhere.

"That's his prerogative and we can't at this moment stand in his way. We wish him well.

"We've spoken to David all the way through. He knows my thoughts on the situation and on him as a person. He knows my thoughts on where he needs to develop and get better.

"We are in a good moment in terms of his development. We've worked really hard with him and really aided him - but he's chosen to go elsewhere.

"Nothing really surprises me in football any more. This is just one of those things that happens. Unfortunately this is the modern football world."

Josh Windass scores
Midfielder Josh Windass, who scored in the last Old Firm match, is in line for a return this weekend

Murty rejected the suggestion that Bates' decision to sign a pre-contract with a side facing relegation from Germany's top flight was proof Ibrox no longer holds the appeal it once did.

"Not at all," he said. "But it's up to us to go out and recruit aggressively and improve the squad from where we were.

"There are targets already in mind."

Bates has made 17 appearances this season, but has not featured since injuring an ankle in the Old Firm derby defeat by Celtic in March.

He will move to Hamburg on a free transfer, with the club currently 17th in the Bundesliga - five points behind Mainz 05, who occupy the relegation play-off spot, with five games remaining.

Bates started his career with Raith Rovers and moved to Ibrox, initially on loan, in August 2016.

Murty, meanwhile, confirmed Josh Windass has resumed training before Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic, having limped off during the draw with Motherwell on 31 March.

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