Aston Villa are set to sign Carlos Cuéllar from Rangers after the Scottish club accepted a £7.8m offer for their Spanish central defender.
Cuéllar, who impressed in his debut season in Scotland following his £2.4m arrival from Osasuna 13 months ago, has a clause in his Rangers contract which allows him to talk to any club if a €10m (£7.8m) bid is lodged.
“My ambition has always been to play for my national team and I believe that playing in the biggest league in the world for Aston Villa will help me realise that,” Cuéllar said last night.
“The Rangers supporters have been fantastic but I am young and want to play at the highest level and I hope they will always welcome me back. I want to thank them for everything.”
The Rangers manager, Walter Smith, said he had reluctantly accepted Villa’s offer.
“This has come as a surprise and I am disappointed. Carlos Cuéllar has been a great player for this football club,” he said.
The Spaniard did not feature in Rangers’ Champions League qualifying defeat to FBK Kaunas because of injury and could make his Villa debut in Thursday’s Uefa Cup tie against FH Hafnarfjordur.