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Will Reyna become odd man out with Rangers?

By Robert Wagman
SoccerTimes

(Friday, February 4, 2000) -- Speculation is rising that American midfielder Claudio Reyna is so far out of favor with Glasgow Rangers manager Dick Advocaat that Reyna may soon be moving on. One published report in England has linked him with Charlton Athletic of the British first division, in a transfer with a reported price tag of about $1.3 million.

Charlton is in first place in the British first division (second tier) and looks to be on schedule to return next season to the Premier League. Thus, the club is starting to acquire players in anticipation of promotion.

Reyna has been caught in the middle of a club-vs.-country dispute between Advocaat and several of his foreign players. According to the Scottish media, Advocaat was angered that Reyna left Rangers winter camp in Florida to join the United States national team camp in California in preparation for the January 16 friendly against Iran. He is also said to be angry that Reyna has decided to play for the U.S. in the upcoming Gold Cup.

In Rangers' three matches since the winter break, Advocaat has sat Reyna on the bench, using him as a late substitute in each outing.

Actually, even without the dispute, Reyna may end up as an odd-man-out because Advocaat has embarked on a major buying spree. He has reportedly been given as much as $30 million by Rangers' board to acquire players in an attempt to go further next season in European competition. Rangers were narrowly eliminated from the Champions League and then from the UEFA Cup.

Rangers have already purchased Turkish international midfielder Tugay Kerigmoglu. Additionally they have made a large offer to sign Scotland winger Allan Johnston from Sunderland, and to acquire young Dutch defender Fernando Ricksen.

Then, although it is being denied, Advocaat is also said to be casting an eye at Dutch superstar Ronald de Boer at Barcelona and Advocaat might be willing to pay a Scottish-record transfer fee to land him.

With Rangers chairman Donald Murray making strong statements about how badly the club wants to keep both Dutch international Giovanni van Bronckhorst and German Jorg Albertz, and with Reyna already sharing duties with Andrei Kanchelskis, it might well end up that there's no room for him in Rangers' midfield.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman can be e-mailed at SoccerWag1@aol.com. SoccerWag1@aol.com.

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