Rangers star James Harrison is set to remain in Glasgow as the club continues to battle to secure a long-term future in the Scottish Premier League.
Rangers boss Mark Warburton has said the club are still “trying to decide” if the 28-year-old will stay at the club.
The club were in discussions with a number of interested clubs but Warburts decision to allow Harrison to leave on a free transfer came as a surprise to the players.
“He (Warburton) told us we could get him on a loan and we could buy him on loan,” said centre-back Lewis Ward.
“So, we’ve been really close to the window but we’ve never quite decided.
But, we’ll be doing that in the next couple of days.”
Rangers have already signed a new contract for the 28 year-old.
He is set for a new deal at the end of the season and will have another option to buy him when he reaches the end.
He joins a squad that includes midfielder Martin Kelly, midfielder Tom Davies, winger Paul Dunne, defender Lee Wallace, winger Lewis Stevenson, goalkeeper Jack Naughton and centre-half Ryan Jack.
The club’s squad for the league season will also be reduced from 26 to 20.
“It’s been a tough few weeks,” Ward added.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries.
We’ve had our back-up goalkeepers on loan and it’s been difficult to come out with a victory.”
I think we’ve shown a lot over the last couple of weeks but we’re still trying to decide what we want to do with our football club.
“James is a very positive, confident guy and we’re looking forward to getting him on the pitch.”
Harrison is the Rangers’ third signing in a week after the club signed the former Chelsea striker Andy Carroll and winger John Stones.
The Scottish champions have also secured the signing of centre-forward Lewis Stevenson from Celtic.
The deal is a coup for Warburtons new squad after a poor start to the campaign and was seen as a chance to bring in the likes of James McClean, Scott Dann from Fulham and former Scotland Under-21 international Jamie Ward.
A move to the Premier League is a possibility for Rangers.
The move to make room for Harrison comes as the clubs chief executive Andy Burnham announced that the club will be selling their stake in the St George’s Park ground.
The new owners have sold their stake, but the club remain in control of the St Andrew’s Park complex.
A number of clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester City, are interested in taking a stake in St Georges Park, but a deal has not yet been struck.
Harrison joined Rangers from Southampton in the summer of 2011, but failed to make an impact at the top level, playing just two matches in the 2015-16 season.
He scored just one goal in 29 games last season, and has scored just nine times in 113 appearances for the club in all competitions.
A return to the Scottish top flight has been a longshot for Harrison, but he has not ruled out returning to the top flight in the future.
“The one thing I’d really like to do is play at the highest level,” he said.
“But I’m very focused on playing for my club, playing for Rangers and hopefully being back at the first team soon.”