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Rangers endured major howler over failed £3.5m transfer

Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson worked hard to improve Gio van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox squad in the January transfer window.

He brought in James Sands, Mateusz Zukowski, Aaron Ramsey and Amad Diallo, but they are all yet to establish themselves as regulars in the first team.

There is still plenty of time for them to prove that they were good signings by the Gers chief, but sometimes transfer windows can be remembered for the players who got away.

This may well be the case for one particular deal during the late Walter Smith’s reign in Glasgow. The club had a major howler over their failure to sign Luka Modric, now of Real Madrid, for £3.5m towards the start of his career during Smith’s tenure in charge.

Ally McCoist has revealed that Smith refused to act on his suggestion to sign the Croatian legend whilst he was still playing in his home country, before the midfielder went on to join Tottenham and then Real Madrid.

The legendary striker explained: “Walter sent me over to Dinamo Zagreb to look at the right back who went to Spurs as well, Vedran Corluka.

“He phoned me after the game and said ‘what do you think?’ and I said ‘I’ll tell you gaffer, they’ve got a wee boy in the middle of the park, he’s absolutely outrageous, see how much money we’ve got’.

“I think we could have got him for £3.5million but we didn’t have the money. Aw wow. We didn’t have the money. He asked ‘how much?’ and I said three and a half million and he said we can’t afford it.”

Has Ross Wilson done a good job at Rangers?

Yes

Yes

No

No

£3.5m for a future Ballon d’Or winner does not seem like a bad deal in hindsight but the Gers were unwilling to push the boat out to bring him in, and they may now look back on that moment and wonder what could have been. To be fair, Smith was just doing what he thought was in the best interests of the club, but it is interesting to think what Modric would have been like at Rangers.

Brazilian icon Kaka previously said that the 36-year-old plays football “like a dance”, and his incredible trophy haul suggests that he has had plenty of experience dancing in celebration throughout his career. He has won 23 trophies at club level – including the Champions League four times – and won the Ballon d’Or, UEFA Best Player in Europe and The Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2018.

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This means that Rangers missed out on signing someone who would go on to be the best player in the world for a fee of £3.5m, which is why they may look back on this now as a huge howler by the club – albeit with a lot of hindsight involved.

File this under “one that got away”…

AND in other news, Forget Tavernier: Rangers machine with 83% duels won was Van Bronckhorst’s unsung hero on Thursday night…

Article title: Rangers endured major howler over failed £3.5m transfer

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