Speaking to Herald and Times Sport, Salford City goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky has claimed Rangers made contact with him earlier this summer, before ultimately dropping their interest.
The 29-year-old enjoyed an excellent 2019/20 campaign with St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership, keeping the fourth most clean sheets in the league.
With ten shutouts, his record was only bettered by Old Firm duo Allan McGregor and Fraser Forster, and Mark Gillespie of Motherwell.
He turned down a contract extension at St Mirren Park in favour of finding a new challenge and the Sunday Post reported in May that the Gers were close to picking him up on a free transfer.
Hladky has claimed that Rangers did make contact about a potential transfer but opted not to follow up on their initial interest.
“There were many opportunities, abroad as well, some big clubs were interested,” he told Herald and Times Sport. “Rangers tried to get some information but they decided on another goalie.”
“It was between myself and him, maybe one more. It was unlucky for me but football is like that. You need luck as well as good performances so when Rangers picked another goalkeeper I had to move on to try and get another opportunity.
“It was nice because it proves your worth. I’m always happy when someone is interested in me, especially these great and big clubs. But it is what it is, maybe in future, you never say never.”
Vaclav Hladky refuses to rule out future Rangers switch after aborted approach – Verdict
Hladky was impressive during his 18-month spell with St Mirren, so it was no surprise when Rangers were linked with a move.
With Wes Foderingham moving on, Steven Gerrard needed a keeper who could challenge Allan McGregor and the Czech’s shot-stopping abilities clearly had him in contention.
The Gers opted for Jon McLaughlin instead, though, and he has proved an inspired signing. Remarkably, the Scotland international is yet to concede a goal, six appearances into his Ibrox career.
After Rangers aborted their approach, Hladky ended up with ambitious English League Two club Salford City and he made his EFL debut on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with Exeter City.
At 29, he still has plenty of time left in the game, though, and he clearly has great respect for Rangers as a club.
He’s open to an Ibrox move in the future and perhaps the Gers recruitment team will keep an eye on his progression in England in case a spot opens up in the squad down the line.