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At least according to the express and as quoted by Walter.

 

 

WHEN Carlos Cuellar was strutting his stuff for Osasuna last season he knew Manchester United scouts were watching matches, but he thought they were spying on team-mate Raul Garcia!

 

Now there are suggestions the Old Trafford club are once again sniffing around the defender.

 

And Rangers manager Walter Smith admitted: ââ?¬Å?Iââ?¬â?¢m not surprised.ââ?¬Â

 

It was Smith who moved quickest to capture Cuellar in the summer but, before Gersââ?¬â?¢ fans fear another Jean-Alain Boumsong scenario there seems no likelihood of a similarly quick parting of the ways. ââ?¬Å?Heââ?¬â?¢s been outstanding and while people might associate him with the Boumsong thing I have no thoughts about that,ââ?¬Â insisted Smith.

 

And the player added: ââ?¬Å?I am happy here. I want to do well and do my best for Rangers.ââ?¬Â

 

So far it has been a marriage made in heaven as Rangers appear to have discovered a rare talent for just over �£2million and the defender, 26 this coming week, has settled immediately.

 

Smith added: ââ?¬Å?We had the chance to watch Carlos play for Osasuna against Bordeaux before we met the Spaniards in the UEFA Cup last season.

 

ââ?¬Å?John Brown saw him in the first leg and then he and Ian Durrant watched the second game. Carlos did well both times and again in the matches against us.

 

ââ?¬Å?When we saw him again after that he also did well and looked to be very consistent. ââ?¬Å?He worked hard to get to that level as well. That was evident from the clubs he played for before Osasuna.

 

ââ?¬Å?And when we went over to meet him there was no doubt he wanted to come to us.

 

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ââ?¬Å?He had no hesitation about saying he wanted to experience playing abroad and that he liked the British style of football.

 

ââ?¬Å?I think, too, he had liked what he saw when he experienced a big European night at Ibrox with Osasuna.

 

ââ?¬Å?I was delighted to get him and when I saw Sir Alex Ferguson had watched him I wasnââ?¬â?¢t surprised.ââ?¬Â

 

Smith was keen at that time to bolster an Ibrox defence that had been leaking like a sieve and although he had taken Ugo Ehiogu and David Weir to Ibrox he admitted:

 

ââ?¬Å?They are both nearing the end of their careers and this was an opportunity to get in a younger central defender.

 

ââ?¬Å?I didnââ?¬â?¢t want to miss out and we couldnââ?¬â?¢t let it slip.ââ?¬Â Rangers pounced and Cuellar appears delighted to have ended up at Ibrox.

 

ââ?¬Å?This was the chance to play for a really big club, to win things and hopefully to play in the Champions League every year,ââ?¬Â he said.

 

ââ?¬Å?I have had to work hard to get to this stage. It is difficult to get to the level of La Liga in the first place and I have had to prove myself all the way through.

 

ââ?¬Å?Then I had to prove myself at Osasuna and now I have to do it again at Rangers.ââ?¬Â

 

And on the face of it he shows no regret at possibly missing out on Manchester United.

 

ââ?¬Å?I knew they had people watching Osasuna games but I thought they were watching Raul Garcia!ââ?¬Â he laughed. And he is content at Ibrox.

 

ââ?¬Å?I believe I can do well here and itââ?¬â?¢s great that the fans seem to like me.

 

ââ?¬Å?Now I want to do my best for Rangers and, if possible, play for Spain.

 

ââ?¬Å?It would help me, I know, to be playing against the top players and the top teams in the Champions League because that is the way you get the attention of the national coach.

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I don't think a value of upwards of �£6million would be outrageous to be honest. I would want to keep him though as he has the potential to earn us more in the CL.

 

I agree with you 100%. �£6m would be about right, and he is quickly turning into one of our more important players at the moment. Hopefully if we can navigate our way past Red Star he'll show us just how good he is in the UCL!

 

MU will probably keep tabs on him this season to see how he's settling into the British game.

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