Danny Wilson leaves Rangers for Colorado Rapids

Danny Wilson in action for Rangers
Danny Wilson was in his second spell with Rangers

Danny Wilson has completed his transfer from Rangers to Major League Soccer club Colorado Rapids.

Rapids announced the 26-year-old central defender had signed a three-year contract, with the club holding an option for a fourth year.

He was out of contract this summer and allowed to leave after the signing of Scotland international Russell Martin on loan from Norwich City.

Wilson was in his second spell with the Scottish Premiership club.

He told Rapids' website that he was excited by the vision put forward by executive vice-president and general manager Padraig Smith and coach Anthony Hudson for the side who finished 10th in last season's 11-team Western Conference.

"First and foremost, I would like to thank Rangers, as well as their supporters, for the terrific support they showed during my time with the club," he said.

"But, in my discussions with Padraig and coach Hudson, it became clear that the Rapids have a very ambitious vision for the future."

Wilson, who won the last of his five Scotland caps in 2011, came through the youth ranks at Ibrox before a £2m move to Liverpool in 2010.

He made only nine first-team appearances at Anfield and had loan spells with Blackpool, Bristol City and Hearts before a permanent move to the latter in 2013.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty felt that he couldn't stand in Wilson's way, after the player decided to make the move in the long-term interests of his family.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty and defender Danny Wilson
Rangers manager Graeme Murty and defender Danny Wilson had a heart-to-heart before the player left for Colorado

"Danny found it very difficult in the circumstances previous to my own appointment," Murty said. "He felt he wasn't going to be in the long-term plans and he decided to look elsewhere.

"I came in and he came into the squad and he was fantastic for us. He scored vital goals, stood up to big challenges and won big games for us. He decided he had an option that he worked really hard to get for himself and his family in a different place.

"We had a bit of a heart-to-heart. He knows what I think of him as a person and a player, but he's decided him and his family would benefit from a new challenge.

"I want the players to be happy and striving to make this place. Danny felt his heart was away from the place and I thought it was better for all concerned that he had the opportunity to explore that."

Wilson, who rejoined Rangers in 2015, played 15 times this season, including 11 of Graeme Murty's first 12 matches in charge following the departure of Pedro Caixinha.

However, he has not played in two games since a 0-0 draw with Celtic on 30 December.

Rapids' Smith added: "Danny's signing is an important addition to our back line. In addition to his experience and leadership, Danny is in the prime of his career and will be one of the best passing centre-backs in the league."

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