Football

Nikica Jelavić Describes How Rangers Exit Came About and Claims He Wanted to Stay at the Club

Nikica Jelavić Describes How Rangers Exit Came About and Claims He Wanted to Stay at the Club

Nikica Jelavić has revealed the details behind his Rangers exit, whilst claiming he wanted to stay at the Ibrox club despite their financial problems away from the pitch.

The former Croatia international quickly became a fans’ favourite in Govan when he arrived from Rapid Vienna back in 2010, and played a key role in the Premiership triumph that season, whilst also scoring the winner against Celtic in the League Cup Final.

However, when Rangers fell into financial difficulty, Jelavić was one of the squad’s biggest assets and he was flogged to Everton on transfer deadline day in January 2012 for a fee in the region of £5 million.

Now 33 and playing in China for Guizhou Zhicheng, Jelavić has opened up about how the deal was struck, whilst insisting he didn’t force the move to the Premier League side. 

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Speaking via the official Rangers website, he said: “I was never fighting my dream of playing in the Premier League and when I came to Rangers, I always said that was what I wanted to do.

“I never hid that but at that moment, when the move to Everton came up, it’s not something I was trying to make happen at all.

“It wasn’t for me to decide when I was going to be sold.

“If the club, the chairman or whoever was in charge said they were going to sell me, there was not much I could do.

“Sure, when they came to me saying they had an offer they were willing to accept, I was willing to go because I wanted to play in England when the chance came.

“But if there had been no deal at that stage, I would have been happy with that because I was enjoying it at Rangers.

 “I wanted to stay and play but the situation suddenly changed.

“Nobody knew what was about to happen and a month after I was sold the club went into administration.

“When I went, I didn’t go for the big money some people perhaps expected and I was really sad when I saw what happened at Rangers over the few months after I moved.

“It was strange.

“I had left a team I had been happy in and although I was scoring goals in the Premier League like I had always wanted to, I felt bad about what I had left behind.

“I had a beautiful 18 months at Rangers, where we took the League Cup and won the title on the final day of the season, scoring three times in the first seven minutes at Kilmarnock.

“After such big moments just a few months earlier, of course I felt sad.

“Okay, at Everton I was very happy and I was doing very well at a new club and for new supporters.

“But I was always watching and listening to what was happening at Rangers and what was happening was terrible.”

Jelavić scored an impressive 30 goals in 45 league games for Rangers, and he definitely seemed to enjoy his time for the Light Blues, but what do you make of his comments?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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