Riordan relief as he leaves Celtic while Cousin, Gow head south
as Gers cut salary bill

Derek Riordan sealed his Celtic exit with a return to Easter Road last night as the SPL champions finally granted his escape from Parkhead after two years in football's no-man's land.

And Old Firm goal hero Daniel Cousin finally got his move to England when he signed a three-year deal with Hull City after the Premier League newcomers agreed to pay Rangers £2million. 

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East coast Bhoy: unsettled Riordan is delighted to be returning 'home' to Hibs

Also on his way from Ibrox was misfit Alan Gow, who has joined Championship side Blackpool on loan until January with a view to a permanent deal that would net Rangers £200,000. 

Hibs pipped city rivals Hearts to reclaim their former goal machine, Riordan finalising his return after the clubs agreed a fee believed to be in the region of £250,000, rising to £400,000 with add-ons.

While Riordan has been forced to take a cut in the £6,000 basic weekly wage he picked up at Celtic, it is understood that there are a number of potentially lucrative incentives built into his new three-year contract. 

Hibs had earlier made room on the wage bill by terminating the contracts of Brian Kerr, Martin Canning and Zibi Malkowski, with Dunfermline defender Souleymane Bamba joining in a £50,000 deal.

Riordan told the Celtic website: 'I would like to thank Celtic and the supporters for the opportunity to have played for the club, but I am looking forward to this move and to the future with Hibs.'

He later added: 'I'm absolutely delighted to be back. It'll be great to work with Mixu Paatelainen again - to help get Hibs back up the table.'

Boss Paatelainen said: 'Derek is a tremendous talent and his goalscoring record speaks for itself. He will bring even more competition up front and that is an area that I was keen to strengthen. We have certainly achieved that with this signing.'

The versatile 25-year-old was restricted to just 13 starts in two full seasons at Celtic Park and was consistently overlooked by Gordon Strachan, who insisted that the prolific marksman was best suited to playing on the left wing, in direct competition to Aiden McGeady.

He fell foul of Strachan last season after going public with serious criticism of the manager and was effectively frozen out.

A number of clubs have shown interest over the past year, with Burnley manager Owen Coyle rebuffed, despite bidding £400,000, and Hearts were keen to tempt Riordan across the capital divide before the transfer window closed at midnight.

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Into the blue yonder: Cousin finally won his move to England's top flight but misfit Gow (below) will ply his trade at Blackpool

Alan Gow

Alan Gow

Cousin headed out of Ibrox barely 36 hours after he scored the opening goal in Sunday's 4-2 win at Parkhead.

And so the Gabon international finally made it to the Premier League after FIFA red tape scuppered a transfer to Fulham in January. Cousin has clinched a lucrative three-year contract after Hull changed their offer from an initial loan deal.

Rangers are expected to bank around £2m for the player they signed from Lens for £1m in 2007.

Cousin will turn 32 later this season and with Walter Smith's squad already overloaded with front men, the Ibrox hierarchy took the decision to part with a player who frustrated and delighted fans in equal measure.

Smith signed Kenny Miller, Andrius Velicka and Kyle Lafferty to bolster his forward options and, before Sunday, an exit for Cousin had long since been expected.

He was a shock choice at Celtic Park and rewarded that selection with his goal before a late red card ended his Rangers career.

Cousin, who was also sent off in the UEFA Cup semi-final, second leg against Fiorentina in Italy in May, joins manager Phil Brown's battle to keep Hull in England's top flight.

As he heads to England, Brahim Hemdani and Jean- Claude Darcheville are still lingering at Ibrox.

Hemdani and Darcheville are in the last year of their contracts and, unless a financial deal is struck, they will remain on the fringe of Smith' s bloated squad until January.

Greek club AEK Athens were interested in the French striker, while Turkish side Kocaelispor tried to tempt the Algerian midfielder with a three-year contract offer.

Former Falkirk and Airdrie star Gow, who has another two years left on his Ibrox contract, has consistently refused to leave until now, insisting that Rangers should pay his contract in full.

It was clear that Smith was never going to play him and the move to Blackpool suits all parties.