Former Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has incredibly claimed that the Ibrox club signed expensive failure Carlos Pena despite knowledge of drinking problems.
In an interview with the newly launched subscription site the Rangers Review, Caixinha was talking to established Scottish journalist Johnny McFarlane.
The Portuguese manager had an ill-fated spell in Glasgow in 2017 and he has been telling his side of the story as part of the new website’s launch.
Via a clip shared on the platform’s socials, Caixinha was discussing the situation surrounding Pena.
Signed for a reported £2.2m on £25k per week wages, the signing was an astronomical flop at a time when the Gers needed to get their transfers right.
As things transpired Rangers won 55 before Celtic claimed 10IAR but the Caixinha era – perhaps best symbolised by the signing of Pena – set the club back years.
Whilst the manager goes into the reasons for Carlos’ signing, the awareness of the player’s personal problems makes the expensive transfer even more astounding.
“When I arrived in Mexico (between 2012 and 2014), Carlos was the most incredible midfielder,” said Pedro [Rangers Review].
“He was really, really incredible. Goalscorer, up and down, defending, attacking, he was really incredible. Massive player, a lot of technique, a lot of physicality.
“After that, he passed through some problems and he could not deal with what he achieved.
“He passed at one stage he was having drinking problems, it was totally known.
“And when we contacted the previous teams and previous coaches in Mexico, they told me he still had a little bit of the problem but he’s much better.
“And he’s much better with a will to change.
“I’m not going to lie to you, he didn’t arrive totally clean. But we clean him up.
“If you remember one of the last games we played against St Johnstone – which we win 3-0 and he scored twice – that was the Carlos.”
This just gives another dimension to the signing and why it was sanctioned with Rangers trying to mount a serious title challenge.
The midfielder continues to play but is now plying his trade with a club in Antigua, where he’s been branded “world-class”.