Dejan Ljubicic has confirmed that he was pursued by Rangers before he decided to make the switch to Bundesliga side FC Cologne.
The Austrian was linked with the Light Blues last year, along with Celtic, Southampton and Brentford, but he was available on a free transfer this summer after he ran down his contract with Rapid Vienna. Despite being offered the chance to move to Ibrox, though, Ljubicic says he chose Cologne as he felt it would strengthen his chances of playing for his country:
“I had offers from several clubs in Germany and I was also in Italy for negotiations and Glasgow Rangers wanted me too. I decided on Cologne early on, but I admit I was worried when they had to win their relegation play-offs. My family and I decided immediately Cologne was the place for me because I will definitely get a start there too.”And I need to play games because I want to play for Austria. Everyone wants to play for their country. I hope my performances in Cologne will convince manager Franco Foda to pick me for the World Cup qualifiers.”
It’s likely to be true that the Gers were interested in signing Ljubicic, but whether he was Steven Gerrard’s number one target, it is difficult to know for sure.
John Lundstram plays in a similar position to Ljubicic so it is possible that the Scottish champions were simply hedging their bids by opening talks with both players. As both were available for free, that isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.