GRAEME MURTY has hit out at Hamburg for unveiling the signing of David Bates before tomorrow’s crucial Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic.

The Bundesliga side announced the acquisition of the 21-year-old centre-half on a four-year pre-contract on Thursday in what is one of the most surprising transfers this season.

Rangers had been in talks with the former Raith Rovers man and boyhood Rangers fan about staying at the club, but instead the financial lure of the German club proved pivotal. And the Ibrox manager has criticised Hamburg management for going against the wishes of their Scottish counterparts to announce their new man who will join them in the summer.

He said: “I think we, as a club, would have been better served if we had waited until after the semi final to have that out in the public domain.

“That is what we asked for. Unfortunately the people we are dealing with did not respect that and we have to deal with these questions now rather than dealing with a fantastic game on Sunday.

“I can take it as a positive, I would rather not! Football reality now is that nobody is a secret and it shows that you can attract interest in this league and at this club, and rightly so in my opinion because this is one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

“David was starting to establish himself as a centre half here but he has made that choice. People will always look here and that is a good thing for us.

“I have wanted to come here and talk to you about the week we have had but there are other issues you want to talk about and I respect that. We have gone through the week doing what we do and focusing on what we can control. I can’t control David going to Hamburg and then announcing that, I can’t control anything else that’s been released. I can control what we do on the training pitch.”

Murty explained Rangers had offered Bates fresh terms, only for him to choose to find his future away from Glasgow. The Rangers manager said he was not surprised by the decision, adding: “We offered him a contract that we felt was good enough to see him stay.

“I am disappointed more than surprised that he hasn’t accepted it. The economic reality is they have come in and made an offer that we can’t match. Their demands for parity on that weren’t something we were prepared to match.

“What he wanted was excessive and it wasn’t something we could or were prepared to pay. Whether he has made a mistake will only be borne out by what happens in the future but he has taken the opportunity to go and expand his football knowledge elsewhere.

“I felt he could be an international footballer by remaining at Rangers and I put that to him. He has lots to work on and develop but I feel he could do that here.”

Bates is currently out due to an ankle injury so won’t feature tomorrow, but his manager insists he would consider playing him before he jets off in the summer if required.

“I believe this is a fantastic place for David to continue his development,” said Murty. “He is playing for a fantastic club, he’s on TV a lot of times and it’s a great platform for him to showcase his talents.

“We wish him good luck. We have a lot of games between now and the end of the season before I need to deal with the fact David won’t be here next season.

“He wasn’t in contention for Sunday. He tried his level best, but he suffered a reaction. The game comes a little too soon. I’d like to think I am a bigger man than just to drop someone because he is leaving.

“I would like to think if we need him he will be available once he’s back fit. I will make my decision then based on the needs of the team.”