Petar Ratkov ‘will not go’ to the Russian Premier League or the MLS but Rangers could also be facing an uphill battle trying to lure the £3 million-rated striker to Ibrox. 

Janos Zemberi, president of Serbian outfit FK TSC Backa Topola, has some rather mixed news for Mick Beale’s hopes of getting his mitts on a new centre-forward.

Petar Ratkov, Zemberi says, has little interest in sealing a summer switch to Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg, or to a club based in America’s top flight for that matter. That’s the good news.  

The bad, as far as Rangers are concerned, is that Ratkov appears to have his heart set on joining a club in one of Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues; The English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga or Ligue 1.  

UEFA Under-19 Championship Slovakia 2022 Qualifying round"The Netherlands U19 v Serbia U19"
Photo by ANP via Getty Images

“There is interest in Ratkov from Zenit and the MLS,” Zemberi tells SportKlub. “But he will not go to Russia or America. 

“The focus is on strong European countries, the popular ‘top five’ leagues. The story about Red Star (Belgrade) was also unrealistic.” 

Will Rangers miss out on Serbian striker Petar Ratkov?

If Ratkov turned his nose up at Red Star – a club capable of offering Champions League football next term – then it’s tempting to wonder if Rangers will suffer a similar fate. 

Mick Beale’s side, like the Serbian giants, are a big fish in a rather small domestic pond. Ratkov, however, appears to feel that his future lies in the wide open seas of the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A.

Serbian publication Republika believe that, as things stand, a move to Spain or Italy are most likely for the 6ft 4ins targetman. In addition Rangers, seven-time European champions AC Milan have also sent scouts to watch Ratkov during a season in which he scored 14 goals while setting up five more for FK TSC. 

With the Gers casting their net far and wide in pursuit of a new number nine, Ratkov is one of a number of names in the frame. Sam Lammers, Anastosios Douvikas, Matija Frigan, Nikola Krstovic and the £7 million-rated Cyriel Dessers are also under consideration. 

“Ratkov is playing well,” Zemberi said a few weeks ago. “We are waiting for the summer transfer window because we believe that his price will increase further. Again, I come back to patience. You have to wait. 

“Another player should be signed in his place. We must have projects like Petar. If you’re only chasing results, then young players won’t have the patience, and we wouldn’t be able to make money either.”

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