Dejan Ljubicic has finally ruled out a summer move to the likes of Celtic, Rangers or Southampton after taking the captain’s armband at Rapid Vienna, while speaking to Sky.
After the Austrian giants lost skipper and goal-scoring dynamo Stefan Schwab to PAOK last month, they were immediately on the charm offensive in an attempt to convince their other star midfielder to reject offers from elsewhere.
And it appears to have worked.
The Mail reported in July that Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers were battling Brentford and Southampton for the £2 million-rated Ljubicic.
But the Vienna-born 22-year-old could not turn down the opportunity in order to captain his boyhood club.
“Yes, I’m staying,” Ljubicic says, before adding via Laola1, “(Getting the armband) is special.”
A deep-lying defensive midfielder who can also play at centre-half, Ljubicic will now be dreaming of leading Rapid – who finished third last season – to their first league title since 2008.
Rangers, meanwhile, can now scratch another midfield target off their hit list after Niklas Dorsch, Aliou Traore and Salih Ozcan either moved elsewhere or, like Ljubicic, confirmed their desire to stay put.
Gers coach Gary McAllister did admit earlier in the summer that the Glasgow giants were keen on Amiens’ South African international Bongani Zungu, although a £3.5 million deal fell through due to concerns over his fitness record (Courier Picard).
Rangers’ record transfers
Tore Andre Flo (2000)
Ryan Kent (2019)
Michael Ball (2001)
Mikel Arteta (2002)
Giovani van Bronckhorst (1998)