RANGERS' new coach, Dick Advocaat, once again broke the Scottish transfer record yesterday when he signed former Manchester United and Everton winger Andrei Kanchelskis for #5.5m from Italian club Fiorentina.

It is the third time Rangers have spent more than #5m on a player this summer after the captures of Dutch international duo Arthur Numan and Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Advocaat has also splashed out #4.2m on striker Gabriel Amato and will today add French goalkeeper Lionel Charbonnier, of Auxerre, to his squad for #1.2m.

That makes a grand total of #20.9m, the biggest ever summer spending spree by a Scottish club, and it would be no surprise if they hit the #30m mark.

As Advocaat sat beside club chairman David Murray and Kanchelskis in the Blue Room at Ibrox yesterday, he said: ''I still need more players - a defender and a striker. But things are getting better every day.''

That sort of thinking is, indeed, ominous for the rest of Scottish football. It is a declaration of intent from Rangers that they are determined to once more monopolise the domestic game after ending last season without a trophy.

Said Murray: ''We must compete in the market if we want to play at the highest level and this is yet another statement by the club that we can compete financially. And we are not finished yet.''

Back in 1995, Kanchelskis had asked United for a transfer saying that Rangers were his preferred destination. Three years on, he made a frantic, 19-hour journey to get to Glasgow in time to beat the European signing deadline, although Advocaat said the player's participation in the next week's UEFA Cup tie against Shelbourne will depend on his fitness.

Kanchelskis left Moscow early on Tuesday morning and flew on to Florence via Paris. He had a three-hour meeting in Italy to discuss his latest move and immediately afterwards flew to Edinburgh, arriving at 10.30pm.

Yesterday morning, he successfully went through a thorough medical, signed for Rangers, faced the media - then went training with his new team-mates. Said Murray: ''It is to his credit that he made such an effort to be in Glasgow today and, obviously, we are delighted to have another player of such quality at Ibrox.''

Advocaat, who had included the Ukranian on a list of players he wanted and presented it to Murray, said: ''It was vital that we got him here, because I like to play a 4-4-2 system and we were missing a player who can play on the right side. Like the other new players, he is of the highest quality. He is fast, skilful and he is very experienced. Hopefully, he will live up to our expectations.''

This is the player's third #5m-plus move in three years. After spending two seasons each with Dynamo Kiev and Donetsk in the Ukraine, he signed for Manchester United in 1991, where he spent almost five years, scoring 28 goals in 124 league matches. In 1995, he moved on to Everton (20 goals in 52 league matches) before joining Fiorentina last year.

Now the 29-year-old has signed a four-year contract with Rangers and he revealed yesterday how much former Ibrox midfielder Alexei Mikhailitchenko, who is now assistant manager at Dynamo Kiev, had to do with his choice. Apologising for having to speak through an interpreter - ''my English is a bit rusty, having been away for some time'' - he said: ''Alexei told me Rangers were the best club he had ever played for.

''In fact, he said they were the best club in the world and how happy he had been to stay in Glasgow. Then, when the chairman and the coach showed how keen they were to sign me, it didn't take me long to make up my mind.''

It had been expected that Charbonnier would complete his signing yesterday, but Murray joked: ''France still seems to be shut at the moment. We have agreed a deal with Charbonnier and his club Auxerre. There are five pieces of paper involved and four of them have been signed, but we couldn't contact anyone at the French FA or Auxerre today.''