Austrian international and former Rapid Vienna midfielder Dejan Ljubicic snubbed Rangers to join Bundesliga outfit FC Köln, the player has claimed.
Ljubicic, 23, was linked with a £2m move to Ibrox last summer [Daily Mail] and must’ve impressed Steven Gerrard when he turned out against Rangers in 2018 with Rapid in the Europa League.
Welcome to the most beautiful city in Germany, Dejan! 📝
Dejan Ljubicic becomes our first signing for the 2021-22 season! He will join on a free from @skrapid, penning a four-year deal 🔴⚪
— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) April 26, 2021
The Austrian side’s captain by the time he left, Ljubicic played in the Ibrox tie of the group stages where Rapid were defeated 3-1 by Rangers and a raucous Ibrox.
The midfielder also came off the bench to net the winner against Steven Gerrard’s side in a 1-0 defeat in Austria.
Speaking after he joined FC Köln on a free transfer, Ljubicic is claiming that he had the chance to join Rangers this summer but opted for a move to Germany.
“I had offers from several clubs in Germany and I was also in Italy for negotiations and Glasgow Rangers wanted me too,” said Ljubicic [Daily Record].
“I decided on Cologne early on, but I admit I was worried when they had to win their relegation play-offs.
“My family and I decided immediately Cologne was the place for me because I will definitely get a start there too.
“And I need to play games because I want to play for Austria.
“Everyone wants to play for their country. I hope my performances in Cologne will convince manager Franco Foda to pick me for the World Cup qualifiers.”
In joining FC Köln, Ljubicic will be joining up with another talented Euro midfielder who the Ibrox side reportedly wanted to sign on a pre-contract.
The Gers were linked to Germany U21 star and FC Köln midfielder Salih Ozcan at the start of the window by Kicker but the player has since signed a new deal with the Bundesliga outfit.
Rangers did announce the signing of one new midfielder in John Lundstram this week with the ex-Sheffield United star standing as a statement of Ibrox intent.