Rangers ‘attempted’ to sign former England international as Virgil van Dijk ‘plays down’ Sunderland transfer

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Rangers will look to move on from their Champions League woes as they face St. Johnstone this weekend

After becoming officially the ‘worst’ Champions League team in history, Rangers will now turn their attentions back to the Scottish Premiership this weekend. The Gers will face St. Johnstone for a lunchtime kick off on Sunday.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side remain unbeaten in the league in the previous six matches, however still sit four points behind Celtic. Their Glasgow rivals are set to host Dundee United on Saturday afternoon as they look to extend the gap further.

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Ahead of another weekend of football, we take a look at the latest headlines from Rangers and Celtic...

Rangers’ failed Vardy bid

Rangers failed in a bid to sign Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy whilst he was at Fleetwood Town, according to Ally McCoist. The Gers failed to pay the price for the future England star.

McCoist was Rangers boss between 2011 and 2014 and was attempting to bring in new signings while the club continued to suffer financial problems. One target he looked to sign was Vardy, who had impressed scout John Brown. However, the Scottish club failed to get the money together for his signature and he joined Leicester for a non-league record of £1 million in 2012.

Speaking on talkSPORT, McCoist said: “I tried to get Vardy when he was at Fleetwood, believe it or not, and I couldn’t get the money. I’m deadly serious. My coach John Brown watched Jamie Vardy.

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“To be fair, he had a great eye for a player. He watched him for 45 minutes and sent me a message saying, ‘we need to get this lad!’ That’s a fact. Clearly, that wasn’t to be either. There’s probably a few more I can think about, to be fair, but Vardy was probably the biggest [name I missed out on].”

Vardy has since won the Premier League and FA Cup with the Foxes as well as awards for Player of the Season and Golden Boot. He has scored over 150 goals in the English top flight.

VVD on Celtic to Sunderland transfer

Former Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk has opened up on rumours he was close to signing for Sunderland during his time in Glasgow. The Liverpool ace appeared on Gary Neville’s ‘The Overlap’.

Van Dijk won two Premiership titles with Celtic and had attracted attention from the Premier League for his stellar performances. The Black Cats had expressed interest in snapping up the centre-back and it had previously been reported that he was extremely close to the move until he eventually signed for Southampton in 2015.

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When asked by Neville whether it was true he had agreed to join Sunderland, Van Dijk said: “Wow. That’s unbelievable. “Is that your agent on Twitter asking these questions?

“I would say there was interest from Sunderland at the time, yes. I didn’t sign anything but there were conversations. There was interest, there was interest.”

The Dutchman eventually joined Liverpool for £75m - with Celtic receiving 10% of the transfer fee. He has since won every domestic trophy available to him, as well as the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup.

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