Dean Furman has committed his future to Rangers despite Maccabi Tel Aviv claiming the midfielder was on the brink of a surprise move to Israel.
The 19-year-old made his senior debut against Dundee United last month and had been widely expected to make the breakthrough next season. Furman flew out to Israel yesterday for a holiday and to visit family in Tel Aviv and admitted he was bemused by news of Maccabi's interest.
"I've had people phoning and texting me about stories saying I'm leaving Rangers but it's all news to me," he said. "There's nothing in it. I've certainly no plans to meet anyone from that club when I head out there.
"I'm Jewish, but I've no plans to play in Israel, certainly not at this stage of my career when I'm enjoying myself so much at Rangers. I'm just heading out there to get a bit of sun, maybe go to the beach and see my family. A good friend of mine is also out there playing with Maccabi Haifa so I hope to catch up with him for a few days too. But that's all there is to it. I'm very happy at Rangers and it's not in my thoughts to go anywhere else."
Avi Nimni, the Maccabi general manager, had intimated that he expected Furman to complete a move to the Israelis shortly: "Dean will arrive in Israel in the next few days. He will take a look at Tel Aviv and the club. It is not a trial, though, because our season is finished. There is no transfer fee involved - it will be a free transfer, although it is not 100% completed yet."
Furman, South-African born but raised in London, moved to Rangers from Chelsea two years ago and is contracted with the Ibrox club until 2009. He expressed his satisfaction with life in Glasgow and hopes to extend his stay.
"There haven't been any talks yet about a new deal but we'll see what happens at the start of next season. Making my debut was unbelievable. I was very surprised to get the chance but I loved every minute of it. I hope I can play more next season but I just have to keep progressing and see what happens."
Meanwhile, Rangers have been told that they will need to bid at least £2m if they are to have any chance of signing Christophe Berra. The Ibrox club have reportedly bid £1m for the Hearts captain, £500,000 less than the £1.5m offer Wolves had turned down last week.
Vladimir Romanov, the Hearts owner, will only allow interested clubs to speak to the 23 year-old defender if they meet Hearts' £2m valuation of the player. Berra is currently on holiday and has put all discussions about his future on hold until he returns later this month.