Allan McGregor reveals ‘play as long as you can’ advice as Rangers goalkeeper signs one-year contract extension

The 40-year-old veteran has snubbed interest from the Middle East to stay at Ibrox.

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Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor has snubbed interest from the Middle East to sign a one-year contract extension.

The 40-year-old, who has made 469 appearances for the Ibrox club, looked as if he was set to call time on his playing career after his late cameo during their Scottish Cup final win over Hearts at the end of last season.

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However, the veteran shot-stopper has now agreed to stay on for another year and will compete with Jon McLaughlin and Robby McCrorie for the number one spot between the sticks.

McGregor, who received criticism for making several high-profile mistakes last term, still played a leading role in helping Rangers reach the Europa League Final in Seville after making 48 appearances in all competitions.

A club statement added: “After coming through the club’s youth programme, McGregor featured on the substitutes bench for the Light Blues as far back as January 1999 when he was just 16, in an away match at Dundee.

“It wasn’t until the 2001/02 campaign that he became a more familiar figure around the first-team as a number of experienced goalkeepers departed, meaning he became the permanent number two to the legendary Stefan Klos.

“His debut for the club came in a Scottish Cup tie at Forfar Athletic in the February of that season, with the club going on to win both that and the League Cup that year.

Allan McGregor will remain at Rangers for a further year.

“Klos played every match in the 2002/03 season, but McGregor still picked up medals as Gers collected the treble.

“His development was furthered with loan spells at St Johnstone and Dunfermline Athletic, before his big chance came in season 2006/07.

“Injuries to Lionel Letizi allowed McGregor to claim the starting jersey for himself, and under Paul le Guen, Walter Smith and Ally McCoist, he would be the first-choice goalkeeper for the next six seasons, winning three league titles, three League Cups and a further Scottish Cup winners’ medal.

“He departed Gers in the summer of 2012, but jumped at the chance to return under Steven Gerrard in 2018, where he re-established himself as the number one.

“Arguably, his second spell has been even more impressive, and he won both the Rangers and SPFL ‘Player of the Year’ awards in 2020/21 as Rangers claimed title number 55 with an incredible 25 clean sheets.

“After missing the 2008 UEFA Cup final through injury, he finally got to appear in a European final for Gers in Seville at the end of last season, while he also finally appeared in a Scottish Cup final, with Jon McLaughlin making way for the final minutes of the 2-0 win over Hearts. McGregor’s previous three Scottish Cup winners’ medals were as a substitute.

“His incredible experience will once again be a part of the goalkeeping and wider playing pool for the season ahead at Ibrox for the coming season.ㅤ

Commenting on his new deal, McGregor told the club’s official website: “I’m obviously delighted. At the end of last season, there were a lot of games and a lot of concentration on the games.

“I then had a couple of weeks’ holiday and really thought about it and spoke to a lot of people about it, and everybody said to play as long as you can.

“After the break, that’s what I was thinking myself, so here we are.”

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said: “Allan brings us invaluable experience and leadership both on and off the pitch, and I am really pleased he has chosen to stay with us for another year.

Mcgregor faces an uncertain future

“I have been really impressed with the positive influence he has on our players, and also the dedication he has shown to still be a valuable asset for us in a playing-sense at the age of 40.

Goalkeeping coach, Colin Stewart added: “I’m delighted that Allan has extended his contract at the club.

“This season we have a really strong goalkeeping squad at the club, and I predict a really healthy competition for places.”

I feel it is important to have players in our dressing room who really understand the club, and Allan certainly is one of them.

“He has been a pleasure to work with over the last four seasons and I am continually impressed by his professional attitude to his work.

“Every day, Allan strives to improve, and this is infectious within our wider goalkeeping community.”