RANGERS have confirmed the signing of defender Leon Balogun on a one-year deal, with an option to extend for a second season.

The 32-year-old spent last season on loan at Wigan Athletic from Brighton before signing a short-term deal with the Lactics towards the end of the campaign, and will provide Steven Gerrard with another option in central defence after Nikola Katic picked up an injury.

German-born Balogun represents Nigeria at international level and has 32 caps for the African country.

Speaking to the club's website, Gerrard revealed his pleasure at capturing the former Werder Bremen and Mainz centre-back, pointing to his pedigree as an international footballer with Premier League experience.

"I am pleased to secure the signature of Leon," Gerrard said. "He is an experienced centre half who will add strength and depth to our squad.

"His experience in the Premier League as well as his international pedigree strengthens our squad and will assist in the development of our young defenders.

"Leon has just finished a round of competitive fixtures with Wigan so will hit the ground running. He’s a positive and bright character and we are looking forward to his influence around the group."

Sporting director Ross Wilson added that the Ibrox club made their move for Balogun after Katic sustained an injury that will rule the Croatian out of contention for several months, and believes that the new signing's experience at Wigan - who were recently demoted from the English Championship after being hit with a 12-point deduction for entering administration - will stand him in good stead for life in Glasgow's south side.

Wilson said: "We quickly targeted Leon after adapting our transfer plan when Niko Katic suffered an injury a few weeks ago.

"We agreed terms with Leon shortly before going to France enabling Leon to give Wigan his full focus, particularly in the situation they found themselves in.

"Leon impressed Steven and I with his enthusiasm and excitement to join Rangers from the moment we first spoke whilst the staff at Brighton and Wigan couldn’t have spoken any higher about his personality and abilities."