Former Rangers star Christian Nerlinger claims he turned down a return to Ibrox to become sporting director as the club built back from the financial collapse of 2012.
The former German international midfielder, now 48, spent three injury-plagued years at Ibrox between 2001 and 2004 after joining the Ibrox side from German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Ahead of Rangers’ Europa League trip to the Westfalenstadion the Athletic were interviewing the six-times capped ex-Germany star, who turned out predominantly for Bayern Munich.
Now a football agent, Christian Nerlinger revealed that back in 2014 he had talks with ex-Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace about a potential return to Ibrox.
This was after the ex-Bayern star spent three years as sporting director at the Munich club between 2009 and 2012, with the potential move well documented at the time.
Christian Nerlinger turned down Rangers director role
“After I left (Bayern), I had a break of nearly two years to find out the direction I wanted to go,” said Christian Nerlinger.
“I had many conversations with clubs. A headhunting agency contacted me and asked whether I could imagine being the sporting director at Rangers. I had talks with Graham Wallace in London.
“They were in a difficult situation but you don’t need to sell the vision of this club. It was hard to see how the club had to start from the beginning but knowing the power (of the support), it was clear it was only a question of time before they came back.
“It would have been exceptional as, despite all the injuries I had, it was fantastic to experience Ibrox, the supporters and the city. It was a huge honour to be asked.
“I took a long time to discuss it with my family and close friends but decided out of private reasons not to do it.”
Read the full interview and hear Christian Nerlinger speak about everything from his work as an agent, his work at Bayern Munich and his time at Rangers.
A talented footballer whose career was cut-short by injury issues, Christian Nerlinger’s only trip to play abroad was with Rangers after signing in a reported £2.5m deal in 2001 [Irish Examiner].
Meanwhile, some cheeky Rangers fans have been leaving their mark in the Dortmund Ultras section before the game in Germany.