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5:11:17 PM
Buffel Leave Rangers

Buffel exits Rangers for Cercle

Thomas Buffel
Buffel rarely played under Rangers manager Walter Smith

Belgium midfielder Thomas Buffel has made his much-anticipated exit from Rangers by joining Cercle Brugge.

The 27-year-old had a year of his contract still to run, but he had rarely featured at Ibrox since Walter Smith became manager in January 2007.

"He wants to get himself in to a position where he was going to be playing," Smith told the club website.

"Cercle have told him he'll be getting a game every week whereas he wasn't guaranteeed that here."

Buffel, who joined Rangers from Feyenoord in 2005, made just five appearances last season.

"I think when he has been out for the length of time that he has been he has to get back and show people that he can play on a regular basis," Smith continued.

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"The opportunity has come up for him to go back to Belgium, his home country, and we hope he does well. He goes with our best wishes."

Bruges' Belgian rivals, Germinal Beerschot, Norwich City and several German clubs had expressed interest.

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