In an apparent transfer blow for Rangers, Ibrox-linked defender James Hill has joined English Championship club AFC Bournemouth from Fleetwood Town.
The Gers were first linked with Hill back in September.
After Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley claimed that a Scottish Premiership side and two Premier League outfits had seen bids rejected for the promising centre-back during the summer transfer window, the Daily Record reported that Rangers were the Scottish club in question.
Hill – Fleetwood’s youngest ever player – was due to be out of contract in the summer and as recently as last week, interest in his signature was said to be mounting.
TEAMtalk reported that Southampton were leading the race but that a host of other clubs including Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Leeds United were also monitoring his situation.
Rangers miss out as Hill joins Bournemouth
However, Bournemouth snuck under the radar somewhat and ultimately snapped up the 19-year-old.
The deal was confirmed on Wednesday evening, with Hill joining the Cherries for an undisclosed fee on a four-and-a-half-year contract.
Bournemouth chief executive, Neill Blake, referenced considerable interest from elsewhere when expressing his delight at the deal.
“We are delighted to have James on board,” he said [Afcb.co.uk]. “He is a player who is a great fit for the club and I’m sure will prove to be a huge asset for us.”
“Unsurprisingly there was a lot of interest in James and the fact he has chosen to come here speaks volumes for this club and the direction the team is moving in under Scott Parker.”
In his first interview as a Bournemouth player, Hill cited the club’s Championship promotion push as a key reason behind his decision.