Jelavic left Rangers in 2012 and joined Premier League side Everton.

Nikica Jelavic has told Rangers’ official website that he did not want to leave Ibrox in January 2012 to join Premier League side Everton, just six months before Rangers were forced to restart in the fourth tier of Scottish football.

Rangers owner at the time Craig Whyte told BBC Sport that “The club is simply not in a financial position to turn down offers for players,” as the financial difficulties began.

Jelavic, now 33, had joined Rangers just 18 months beforehand, completing a £4million switch from Rapid Vienna. He scored 36 goals and created 15 more in assists in just 57 games for Rangers – a pretty incredible return.

BBC claim Rangers made a £1.5million profit on the sale of Jelavic as Everton landed the Croatia international for £5.5million, but Jelavic has now said that he did not want to leave Ibrox.

“I was never fighting my dream of playing in the Premier League and when I came to Rangers, I always said that was what I wanted to do,” Jelavic said. “I never hid that but at that moment, when the move to Everton came up, it’s not something I was trying to make happen at all.”

Jelavic played for Everton for 18 months before joining Hull City and then West Ham, before taking the slightly surprising option of move to China in February 2016.

He has remained in Asia since, with Guizhou Hengfeng who are managed by former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu. He plays alongside ex-Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez, as well as French defender Kevin Boli.

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