The Chelsea to Rangers transfer inspired by Brendan Rodgers as abandoned Celtic trial leads to Old Firm bonus

A former Rangers midfielder has revealed his Celtic trial after time at Chelsea.
The Celtic boss was once at ChelseaThe Celtic boss was once at Chelsea
The Celtic boss was once at Chelsea

A former Rangers midfielder has revealed how Brendan Rodgers almost sent him to Celtic - while he was at Chelsea.

In the early stages of his coaching career, the current Hoops boss was academy chief at Stamford Bridge. He left in 2008 and eight years later he would become Celtic manager for the first time, and while in his role with the Blues reserves, he sent Dean Furman to Glasgow.

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Even back then, Rodgers had his Celtic links, but the South African midfielder ended up at Ibrox through an agent in 2006 after the Irishman had sent him north. The now 35-year-old made one senior appearance in three years after leaving Chelsea, but still managed to profit from a derby win bonus.

He told I Once Had Trials Podcast: "Brendan Rodgers was my youth team coach - he was phenomenal. "And Brendan had links with Celtic back then. He sent me to Celtic and I went and spent a week at Celtic – I had a class week there, it was great.

"I knew an agent up there and he called me and while I was up there he took me round Murray Park and to Ibrox. Two weeks later Rangers wanted me to come in for a week there, and at the end of that week they basically slapped a contract on the table.

"They said ‘We know you’ve been to Celtic but…here’s a contract’ Maybe there was a bit of that [rivalry]. So I ended up signing for Rangers and I loved it. It was class. My first Old Firm was at Celtic Park and they were singing You’ll never walk alone.

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"I’ve never been in awe but it was phenomenal. We won, Ugo Ehiogu scored an overhead kick and we all got bonuses. First team bonus was about £1200 a game but for an Old Firm was £4k. As an 18-year-old sitting on the bench that was unbelievable."

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