Rangers’ hopes of signing Greek international Dimitrios Kourbelis may be over with Panathinaikos reportedly informing the Scottish Premiership giants that he will be signing a new contract instead.

This will be music to the ears of Panathinaikos supporters. Not so much Rangers, of course.

According to SDNA, Mick Beale’s side had identified Kourbelis as a bargain addition to their soon-to-be lightweight midfield ahead of the summer transfer window. Ryan Jack, Scott Arfield and the veteran Steven Davis are all due to depart in July, meaning reinforcements will be required in the centre of the park.

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And Rangers would have struggled to find many finer additions than Kourbelis. He too was supposed to become a free-agent in a matter of months. At 29, and a natural-born leader, Kourbelis’ experience and high-class talent could have made him a potentially inspired reinforcement, particularly given his considerable know-how in the heat of a fierce title fight.

Rangers look likely to miss out on Dimitrios Kourbelis

Kourbelis is captain of a Panathinaikos side level on points with AEK Athens in top spot; dreaming of their first Super League title in a decade.

And if Panathinaikos do claim the crown, Kourbelis will be sticking around to defend it.

Greek website Transfer Geeks say that Rangers have now ‘received an answer’ in their pursuit of the former Asteras Tripolis enforcer. Kourbelis’ camp, the report adds, have informed those at Ibrox that he plans to stay and renew his contract.

As such, Rangers have allegedly dropped plans to scout Kourbelis again between now and the end of the season. The Glasgow giants, it seems, know when they are fighting a losing battle.

“He’s cerebral. He possesses the necessary calmness to play in this specific nerve-wracking position,” former team-mate George Georgakopoulos tells SportTime. “He deserves all the best.

“He’s a great kid.”

Kourbelis, interestingly, is not the only Greek Super League star on Rangers summer wishlist. Aris winger Luis Palma seems to be emerging as a potential Ryan Kent replacement for the left-hand side.

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