Whittaker - We must keep Madjid

Gers stopper eager to keep Bougherra at Ibrox

Whittaker: Big fan of Bougherra

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Rangers defender Steven Whittaker has exclusively told skysports.com it would be a 'big loss' to the Scottish champions if Madjid Bougherra were to leave Ibrox.

Bougherra, 26, was named Rangers' Player of the Year in May following a tremendous debut season in The SPL and his impressive form had alerted French champions Bordeaux, who saw the defender reject a move to Ligue 1 earlier this month.

However, speculation has continued to surround the Algeria international who has admitted he would be attracted to a possible move to the Premier League following spells with Crewe Alexandra, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic in England.

Rangers lost their previous star defender, Carlos Cuellar, to Aston Villa last summer and with UEFA Champions League football to look forward to, right-back Whittaker is determined to avoid a similar scenario with Bougherra.

"He was a great figure for us at the back last year and hopefully he can do the same for us this year," Whittaker told skysports.com following Rangers' 1-0 win over Paris Saint Germain in the Emirates Cup that came thanks to a header from Bougherra. "It is important that we keep hold of him.

"Football is football, people go and people stay and he will make the decision on his own career, but for us he would be a big loss."

Saturday's game in North London was a successful run-out for a side that won the domestic double last season and although Walter Smith has neglected to add to his squad so far this summer, Whittaker is hopeful of a successful campaign for the Glasgow club.

"It is a similar squad to last year and we won the double last year so I think we have a squad capable of winning trophies here," Whittaker continued.

"At a club like Rangers you need to win trophies and we will be looking to win trophies domestically and hopefully do as well as we can in Europe.

"Hopefully we can continue on, whether it be in the Champions League or the Uefa Cup, and get as many games in Europe as we can."