Rangers last night agreed a fee with Everton for the sale of Nikica Jelavic, and allowed the Croat to begin contract talks with the Barclay's Premier League side.

The deal was reached after npower Championship club West Ham United withdrew their interest in the player, because the Ibrox side's valuation was outwith their budget.

Jelavic is keen to play in the English top-flight, and Everton have the funds to pay Rangers as much as £5m up front and £40,000-per-week in wages to the striker after selling Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to Spartak Moscow last week. The Goodison Park side could then pay additional fees in installments, but West Ham were not willing to match Everton's offer of a £5m initial fee, even although their total price rose to £7m. Rangers had been holding out for a deal closer to their £9m valuation of the Croat, who signed from Rapid Vienna for a £4m fee.

Ally McCoist is unlikely to receive all of the money to spend, but he will try to recruit a replacement before the transfer window closes tonight. Rangers continue to be linked with Fran Sandaza, the St Johnstone striker who turned down a pre-contract offer, and forward Grant Holt, of Norwich City. David Templeton, the Hearts winger, is another player the Ibrox club are thought to have enquired about.

Hamdi Salihi, the Rapid Vienna forward, is holding out on a move to Changchun Yatai of China after being told that the Ibrox side remain keen on him. The Chinese side have offered the Albanian £20,000-a-week but Salihi is stalling on agreeing a deal.

"I've decided to wait," he said. "My position at the club has to be clarified. There have still not been any suitable offers for me and if I don't get an offer I like, I will stay at Rapid and fight for my place.

"I have had contact with Rangers in Scotland and I have been told I would be a suitable candidate if Jelavic leaves them. So let's wait and see if he is sold or not."

Enar Jaager, the Estonian right-back who was on trial at Ibrox, is considering a move to the Polish side Lechia Gdansk after growing frustrated at Rangers' reluctance to offer a deal. Another trialist, the Honduran midfielder Jorge Claros, played in a trial match for Hibernian yesterday. Hearts are also interested.

Juanma Ortiz, meanwhile, is to return to his former club, Almeria on loan until the end of the season. "Juan has found it tough to settle and his girlfriend is expecting as well," said Kenny McDowall, the Rangers assistant manager. "We felt it was right for him to go back and hopefully he can get some games in and we can assess things from there."

Brisbane Roar are also keen on re-signing Matt McKay, at least until the end of the season, although the Australian midfielder has been reluctant to give up on his Ibrox career after only five months at the club.