Rangers beat Celtic to Bailey Rice signing as talented youngster turns down Motherwell pro contract offer

The 15-year-old will continue his development as part of the Light Blues Under-18s side.

Rangers have beaten Celtic to the signing of talented Motherwell youngster Bailey Rice for an undislcosed fee.

The 15-year-old will join the Gers academy after he rejected an offer of a professional contract at Motherwell, the Lanarkshire club confirmed this afternoon.

A short statement on Rangers social media read: “Rangers academy are delighted to confirm that Under-17s player Bailey Rice will joins us from @MotherwellFC.

“Bailey will initially enter Cameron Campbell and Steven Smith’s Under-18s team in the Professional Development phase. Good luck Bailey and Welcome to Rangers.”

Rice is considered one of the most promising youngsters to have progressed through the Academy at Fir Park in recent seasons and his signing represents another positive move as Rangers look to strengthen their development pool.

He becomes the third academy arrival this week, following ex-Inverness star Kieron Willox and Partick Thistle’s Cameron Cooper in opting to progress their careers at Ibrox.

A statement on the Motherwell official website read: “The youngster was part of an exciting, and much-coveted, 2006 squad which has enjoyed notable success during their progression through the Club Academy Scotland age groups.

“Although a number of the players had significant interest from big clubs on both sides of the border, we were able to promote nine of the ten proposed graduates to full-time this summer.

“Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to thank Bailey for his effort and commitment during his time with the Academy and wish him every success in his future career.”