Northern Irish international Kyle Lafferty secured his return to Rangers on a two-year deal from Hearts, both clubs confirmed on Wednesday.

Lafferty, 30, won three league titles in a four-year spell in his first stint at Rangers between 2008 and 2012 and becomes Steven Gerrard’s 12th new signing since taking charge in May.

Gerrard has made a positive start to his first senior managerial role with a nine-game unbeaten run and said Lafferty could go straight into his side to face Ufa in the first leg of their Europa League playoff on Thursday.

Lafferty scored 20 goals for Hearts in 48 appearances, including the winner as the Edinburgh side beat Celtic earlier this month to move top of the Scottish Premiership.

Hearts rejected an initial reported £200,000 ($260,000) bid for Lafferty from Rangers in July, but chairwoman Ann Budge admitted the player’s desire to move proved decisive in reaching a deal.

“It is no secret that this has been a particularly difficult and drawn-out affair,” Budge said in a Hearts statement.

“While we have no desire to sell our players to other teams in the league, when a player has his mind fully set on moving, it is difficult to reach an alternative conclusion.”

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