Graeme Murty has revealed that Rangers were in discussions with David Bates over extending his contract at Ibrox before Hamburg made the defender an offer which they couldn’t match.
Bates’ departure shocked Gers fans yesterday, as the 21-year-old signed a pre-contract agreement which will see him play for the Bundesliga side for the next four years.
Speaking about the ex-Raith Rovers defender this morning, Murty cut a disappointed figure and lamented the amount of time and hard work the club’s coaching staff have put in toward making Bates a better player this season.
However, the Rangers manager still wished Bates well on his move and described his exit as “one of those things”.
“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.
“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.”
Murty, who’s been preparing his side ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic added that the club weren’t in a position to stand in Bates’ way once he made up his mind.
“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.”
Will Rangers struggle to replace a player of Bates’ stature? And does his willingness to leave Glasgow show that not all is well behind the scenes at Ibrox?