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Daily Record
Daily Record
Ben Banks

Gabby Agbonlahor makes Rangers transfer claim as he reveals alternative offer to Celtic 'dream'

Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed that Rangers were one of two clubs who were keen on taking him away from his beloved Aston Villa.

The former striker claimed in 2018 that 'every player if they had the chance to play for Celtic would take it' and that playing at Parkhead could be a great next step after leaving the Villains that summer, having spent his entire career at the Birmingham club outside two loans in 2005. But he has revealed that two years earlier, it was Rangers who were after him.

The Light Blues manager at that time was Mark Warburton and he had just guided the Ibrox club back into the Premiership. But Agbonlahor - who officially retired in 2019 - tells talkSPORT that he wasn't interest in Rangers after Villa boss Roberto di Matteo's revelation. He said: “The season we got relegated I got myself so fit in the summer. I wanted to get the club back up in the next season.

“I’d done a whole pre-season with the team and was looking forward to the start of the season and two days before the opening game in the Championship Di Matteo calls me into his office. I thought he was going to say ‘I want you to play here’, but he said: ‘I want you to leave’.

“I was confused, I thought ‘leave where?’ because I’d been there since I was 12 so it didn’t make sense. He was like ‘yeah, it’s not going to work I think you should go, Rangers and Reading are interested’, but I was like ‘I’m not going to Rangers or Reading’.

“I said, ‘I’m here, use me or don’t use me, but I’m here’. I told the chief executive that, so it was kind of ‘if you don’t want to use me, I’ll still be here because it’s my club.’

“I was part of the reason we got relegated because I was part of the squad and I think Di Matteo lasted 10 or 15 games. Even when you speak to players who were under him at Chelsea they say that the players they had won it [the Champion League], not the manager. So even for them he wasn’t popular at all.”

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