NIGEL Spackman will today decide if he wishes to accept an offer to

return to London and Chelsea. The man who cost Rangers #500,000 from

Queen's Park Rangers in November, 1989, still has a year of his contract

to serve and is in no hurry to leave Scotland. However, the fact that

the clubs have agreed the transfer fee, #500,000 again, may be a salient

factor in persuading the 31-year-old midfield player that it is time to

go back south.

Spackman has been at the centre of speculation about his future for

some time but he said recently that, although there had been reports

about a host of clubs interested in his future, he had not been brought

into any serious negotiations.

Spackman has recently returned to the side after an injury which kept

him out at the start of the season. The fact that he is counted as a

foreigner in UEFA's eyes is no doubt the main reason why Rangers are

willing to let him go and are not coming forward with an extension to

his contract.

Yet, if Andy Roxburgh, the Scotland coach, had been given his way,

Spackman would have become a Scot as far as football was concerned.

Roxburgh selected the player in his squad for a friendly with Russia 18

months ago, but then had to remove him from his considerations after it

had been pointed out that the home countries had an agreement which

prohibited picking players with only distant relatives to back their


Spackman's Scottish grandmother came into the unacceptable category

and that proved a huge disappointment to the player who was eager to

play for Scotland.

The former Liverpool, Chelsea, and QPR, man considers the season

before last's premier-division title success, when Rangers beat Aberdeen

at Ibrox in the final game, as his finest hour. He was stand-in captain

for the ill Richard Gough that day.

Meanwhile, another of Rangers' foreigners, Trevor Steven, may turn out

at some stage in the friendly with Exeter in the south tonight, a match

arranged as part of the deal which took Chris Vinnicombe to Ibrox.

Steven has been out of the side because of a hamstring injury but is

making good progress.