RANGERS have sold their Dutch winger, Pieter Huistra, to 'J' League

side Hiroshima San Frecce for #500,000, which means they have earned

almost #5m in sales over the last three weeks.

Everton's willingness to pay #4.3m for Duncan Ferguson and now the

transfer of Huistra, who was at Ibrox for four and a half years, leaves

Rangers manager Walter Smith in an extremely healthy position as he

looks around for fresh talent.

Also, the chances are he will have even more to spend because he is

still anxious to off-load a few more players to make space in the

dressing room for the players he believes can help make Rangers a force

in Europe.

Huistra, a player of some subtlety but whose final delivery was often

wayward, was never quite able to command a regular first-team place,

although he had been performing well in recent months. The arrival of

Brian Laudrup seemed to bring more out of Huistra, but he always

suspected he was surplus to requirements.

UEFA's non-nationals' rule also conspired against him often, but the

27-year-old did well not to become too disillusioned, and he is

relishing the chance to begin again, even if it is in a set-up which is

still trying to gain world-wide recognition. ''It is very much a step

into the unknown,'' Huistra said, ''but I hope it will work out.''

Huistra has signed a two-year contract with the club which is managed

by a fellow countryman, Vim Jansen, who played for Holland in the World

Cup finals in 1974.

Jansen's team were runners up in the 'J' League last season and he

hopes Huistra can provide the spark which can take them to the title.

Basile Boli could be another player Rangers might wish to sell off,

even though he arrived only at the start of this season from Olympique

de Marseille.

Boli has not impressed and it has been alleged in the past that he has

spoken in less than glowing terms about the Ibrox set-up to a French

publication. He was given the benefit of the doubt by Rangers, but

apparently he has spoken again to a French newspaper, Liberation,

allegedly pointing out that he would like to win championship medals in

four different countries.

He has a dream, and it is to win the premier division championship

with Rangers and also the titles in England, Germany, and either Spain

or Italy. He is ''driven by a desire to win,'' but he will do well to

hold on to his place in Rangers' first team when all of their players

are fit and available.

Although they paid Marseille #2.7m for him, I suspect Rangers would

not be too unhappy to take the money from some club in England, Italy,

Spain, Germany or wherever and help him on his way to fulfilling his

dream of winning in four countries.

Hearts appoint Scottish football's first female chief executive, Sally

Robinson, on Monday, and one of her first duties could involve clearing

the way for Maurice Johnston to leave Tynecastle, which will be no

straightforward matter. It is believed Johnston is seeking a #175,000


Robinson's remit will cover the financial, commercial and

administrative side of the club while manager Tommy McLean will continue

to have complete control over the playing side, but she will have to

become involved if Johnston is to be taken off the pay roll.

The former Partick Thistle, Watford, Celtic, Rangers, and Everton

striker has had talks with McLean and the chairman, and made it clear he

will leave the club if they smooth the way with a decent offer to buy

out the remainder of his contract. Johnston was signed originally on a

short-term basis and in October '93, Mercer awarded him a two-year deal

thought to be worth #400,000 plus bonuses.

Johnston fell out of favour soon after McLean left Motherwell to

become Hearts' manager in the close season, and he has been banished to

the reserves. Mo's exile there could be costing him around #1000 a week,

but his conditions remain lucrative enough, although he would much

prefer first-team football.

Hearts may be willing to pay him off at around #100,000, but Johnston

will want to go at his price, and it will be up to the new chief

executive to decide whether or not the club has the money to pay. She

may find, however, that Hearts can't afford to keep him.