Mills said the big forward told him on Monday he would be going to the League Two outfit – leaving the Minstermen boss to say Rankine was now out of his plans.
“We made him an offer around Christmas,” Mills said. “He turned that down. It came to light that a League club were chasing him so I had prepared myself for what was going to happen. You have to move on.
“The position of striker is something I have to work on. Ranks has gone to Aldershot and it is time to move on.”
Meanwhile, defender Daniel Parslow added to his trophy haul at the club’s awards night, held at Pitchside Bar at Bootham Crescent. The Press Player of the Year picked up the Billy Fenton Clubman of the Year and the Player of the Year trophy from Harrogate Minstermen and York City Supporters Club.
Mills said: “From the first day I came to the club he has been exceptional – not only in his performances but in the way he conducts himself. He thoroughly deserves it.”
James Meredith was the winner of the Players’ Player of the Year, while Rankine won the Golden Boot award for his campaign tally of 14 goals. Neil Barrett was awarded CPP Community Player of the Year. Tom Platt got the Young Player of the Year prize.