'Nobody is a secret' - Murty slams lack of respect after Rangers player agrees terms
Rangers manager Graeme Murty has claimed Hamburg “did not respect” a request by the Ibrox giants not to announce David Bates’ pre-contract agreement until after Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Celtic.
The 21-year-old defender was announced as a summer signing for the Bundesliga relegation candidates on Thursday – much to the surprise of most fans and pundits alike.
Murty revealed that the Gers had asked Hamburg to keep the move quiet until after Sunday’s Old Firm clash and thinks the Light Blues would have been “better served” had it not come out until next week.
“I think we, as a club, would have been better served if we had waited until after the semi-final to have that out in the public domain,” Murty said, as quoted by The Herald.
“That is what we asked for. Unfortunately, the people we are dealing with did not respect that and we have to deal with these questions now rather than dealing with a fantastic game on Sunday.
“I can take it as a positive, I would rather not! Football reality now is that nobody is a secret and it shows that you can attract interest in this league and at this club, and rightly so in my opinion because this is one of the biggest clubs in Europe.”
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Bates has made 17 appearances for the Gers this season but has found himself sidelined with an ankle injury suffered in last month’s 3-2 Old Firm defeat at Ibrox.
The Kirkcaldy-born defender joined the Light Blues from Raith Rovers in August 2016 on a development loan before agreeing to a permanent switch the following January.
Since moving to Ibrox, Bates has made 25 first-team appearances in all competitions but could have already played his last game for the Light Blues.
Football Insider verdict:
While there was nothing stopping Hamburg from announcing the deal, it would have been good to have done without the distraction in the build-up to Sunday’s huge Old Firm showdown. The Germans will have had their own reasons for announcing the move and everyone just needs to move on and deal with it. It would have been nice to have heard more about Sunday’s semi-final at Murty’s press conference on Friday instead of it being dominated by Bates’ move but that’s football sometimes.