RANGERS are delighted to announce the signing of Swedish defender Filip Helander from Bologna, subject to international clearance.

The 6ft 4in centre half has spent the last four seasons in Italy’s top flight, Serie A, but will now join the Light Blues on a four-year deal.

Helander, 26, is a regular in Janne Andersson’s Swedish international side and in 2015 he won the European Under-21 Championship with his country.

Helander today said: “I am delighted to be joining Rangers, it’s a special club with tremendous fans and a unique history.

“The opportunity to work with a manager like Steven Gerrard was an easy decision to make.

“I’ve come here to battle for every point and to win trophies and I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates and getting started.”

Before that, he started his career at Malmo, making his debut at the age of 18 and winning the league title in 2013 and a league and Swedish Super Cup double in 2014, a year in which he was named Allsvenskan defender of the year. Helander also experienced Europa League and Champions League football with his hometown club.

In July 2015, at the age of 22, he moved to Verona in Italy and in his first season he made 26 appearances and scored two goals, against Lazio and Inter.

A season-long loan switch to Bologna followed in August 2016 and Helander then joined the Rossoblu (red and blues) permanently a year later for a reported fee of £1.8 million.

In 2016/17 and 2017/18 the towering stopper made 41 appearances at club level before being named in Sweden’s squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He added a further 24 last season and featured in four of Sweden’s European Championship qualifying matches this year – against Romania and Norway in March and Malta and Spain in June.

A combative, strong performer who has experience of playing at the highest level, Helander will now provide Steven Gerrard with another excellent defensive option to play alongside Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic or George Edmundson in the centre of the Gers backline.

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