Incoming Rangers defender John Souttar claims he almost joined the Ibrox club in January after he was officially unveiled at Ibrox following his move from Hearts.
The Scotland international centre-back, 25, joins the Gers on a pre-contract deal which was initially signed in January amid much interest from the English Championship.
At the time, there was much talk regarding Rangers’ interest in signing the player for the second half of the campaign but amid talk of stringent Hearts demands, a move never materialised despite several reported bids.
This ran all the way up until deadline day at Ibrox with sporting director Ross Wilson eventually claiming the two sides couldn’t reach a suitable agreement.
Speaking following his unveiling at Ibrox, John Souttar claims that the deal was perhaps closer than we might’ve suspected and that he had to be patient ahead of a summer transfer.
“It’s been a long time since I obviously signed the pre-contract in January but it’s a brilliant day for me and my family to join Rangers,” Souttar told RangersTV.
“It nearly happened in January. So it was obviously just dealing with that set back of it not happening and focusing on the football.
“It was difficult at the time but after it was over with, it was over with so I just gave 100% focus on the task at hand at Hearts.”
Rangers failed to land John Souttar from Hearts in January
The decision not to sign John Souttar earlier in January is one that Rangers may well have come to rue as the club failed to retain the Scottish Premiership.
There is a school of thought that amid injury problems Rangers should’ve stumped up for the player amid the title run in despite the fact he would be joining on a free in the summer.
But others will point to Souttar’s injury problems in the second half of the campaign as being justification for not shelling out on the player before time.
Whatever the case, John Souttar is here now and the Rangers centre-back was also discussing how excited he is to get started.
“When I signed and met the manager and the staff in January, you know Rangers, I’ve been brought up in Scotland so I know the size of the club and what it means to people and stuff like that,” said Souttar.
“So when I met the manager it was exciting. He just gave me his thoughts, obviously he was just in the door as well and he gave me his thoughts on how he wants us to play and it was exciting.”
After the latest announcement coming out of Ibrox, the Rangers centre-back will have a special defensive partner alongside him next season too.