ROSS WILSON has revealed that Rangers fought off some of Europe's elite clubs to snatch the signature of USA international James Sands.

The 21-year-old moved to Ibrox from New York City on an initial 18-month loan deal, before Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side will then have an exclusive opportunity to make the transfer permanent.

Sporting director Wilson admits he was delighted to get the move over the line and he has revealed that an intense scouting mission was conducted ahead of discussions between the two clubs.

He explained: “Signing James is a really interesting opportunity for us, and one we are all excited about.

"We reached an agreement a couple of weeks ago for the transfer to be structured as a loan for this season and next, whilst we have negotiated and secured an exclusive option to buy beyond the initial loan period.

“Our scouting team has tracked his strong evolution over the course of the season with the MLS Champions New York City and we have identified a lot of potential in James. Gio has looked closely at what he can bring to Rangers and I know working with the manager and our staff, James will develop his game further here.

“Aside from his qualities with the ball, his versatility, and tactical understanding, we also know that James is a brilliant character, positive personality and despite his young age, is already showing impressive leadership qualities.

"Naturally we faced competition from some excellent European clubs to sign James. I am delighted that he shares our belief that Rangers is the next step in his exciting journey.

“Finally, I extend my thanks to David Lee at New York City FC for his assistance in making this deal happen.”