Rangers to sign defender David Bates from Raith Rovers

David Bates is to sign on permanently for Rangers
Bates featured in a testimonial match against Linfield in September

David Bates is to make his loan switch to Rangers from Raith Rovers permanent after being offered an 18-month deal.

The 20-year-old defender joined the Ibrox development side in August, with midfielder Jordan Thompson going in the opposite direction, also on loan.

Earlier this month, Rangers striker Ryan Hardie returned for a second loan spell at Stark's Park.

"It's an unbelievable move for the lad and I certainly couldn't stand in his way," said Rovers boss Gary Locke.

Bates has been playing regularly for the under-20s and has featured on the first team bench for Rangers.

"It's very rare that a young player will get the chance to move from Raith Rovers to Rangers on loan," added Locke.

"With my relationship with [Ibrox assistant manager] Davie Weir, they asked to have a look at David and were kind enough to give us a couple of players on loan. David has done very well during that spell and now Rangers have told us they'd like to sign him.

"He is desperate to make the move, so we wish him all the best and hopefully he has a really good career.

"How long will it be before he can start challenging for a first-team spot there? Well he's still got a long way to go but he has a lot of potential.

"It won't really mean any extra money for us at this point but maybe if he goes and plays a lot of games and Rangers decide to sell him, I'm pretty sure the club has covered its back in that sense."

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