Rangers tried to sign Dutch midfielder Tijjani Reijnders during his time with AZ – only for Bert Konterman to convince the new AC Milan signing to stay put.
Speaking to local Dutch outlet NOS, Bert Konterman revealed that Rangers were interested in signing the now 25-year-old last summer.
However, with big things expected of the player and Bert Konterman believing Tijjani Reijnders was destined for the top, he urged the player’s camp to bide their time for a bigger move.
That has now come in the shape of a reported €20m (£17m) switch to Italian giants AC Milan and Rangers fans have perhaps got Bert Konterman to thank for another one that got away.
“Rangers, my old club, wanted him [Tijjani Reijnders],” said Bert Konterman. “Martin [the player’s father] asked me what was wise.
“I thought it was wiser to stay at AZ. Rangers are a big club, but he was not ready at AZ yet and maybe even bigger clubs would come in a year.
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“Moreover, I thought he would fit better in Spanish or Italian football. Fortunately, that came true. It’s a good thing he didn’t go.
“His patience has definitely been rewarded. He had a fantastic year at AZ and now plays for AC Milan.”
Bert Konterman scuppers Rangers’ Tijjani Reijnders move
If Bert Konterman’s comments are correct, Rangers would’ve been interested during the reign of Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who like Tijjani Reijnders is of Dutch-Indonesian descent.
Rangers were criticised for failing to utilise the Dutch market during the reign of Gio and this at least shows the club were trying to harness the Ibrox gaffer’s connections here.
At the time, outgoing Rangers director Ross Wilson also bit back at the criticisms and suggested a move for a high-profile Dutch player fell through because the player didn’t want to come.
Amid strong links to then Vitesse Arnhem captain Danilho Doekhi and PSG talent Xavi Simons, several fans pointed towards either of these two as the potential Dutch targets.
But as Rangers fans are left thinking what might’ve been with Tijjani Reijnders, it may well be the talented midfielder who just slipped out of the club’s transfer grasp.
Having got his big move to Italy, Tijjani Reijnders has also just made his debut for the Netherlands international team, coming off the bench in this week’s 3-0 win over Greece.