Rangers claim the transfer of all player contracts have already taken place, warning last night that any players disputing the move could face legal action in the wake of reported objections from Rhys McCabe and Sone Aluko.
But lawyers acting for Scotland internationals Naismith and Whittaker said their clients would not report for training with Rangers and are seeking new clubs.
A statement from Simon Catto of HBJ Gateley said: "Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker are formally intimating their objection to becoming employed by the transferee in accordance with Regulations 4(7) and 4(9) of the TUPE Regulations.
"Accordingly, Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker will not be attending for training or any other meeting next week and consider themselves to be under no contractual obligations to any party.
"They consider they are not employed by any party and are free to consider any employment options they wish."