Rangers to step up pursuit of PAOK striker Antonio Colak after opening bid ‘rejected’

The 28-year-old impressed during a loan spell at Swedish outfit Malmo but has failed to nail down a regular slot at his parent club.

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Rangers are set to step up their pursuit of striker Antonio Colak after having an opening bid ‘rejected’ by PAOK Salonika.

Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is exploring new attacking options amid uncertainty surrounding the long-term future of talisman Alfredo Morelos.

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The Colombian is out of contract next summer and the Ibrox club may consider selling him in this window if talks to extend the 26-year-old deal fail to progress.

The £2.6million-rated Croatian international helped to eliminate Rangers from the Champions League while on loan at Malmo last season.

According to Greek outlet Sports24, Rangers put forward “an official proposal” to bring the striker to Glasgow but that offer has been knocked back.

PAOK are understood to be keen to offload Colak, who netted 19 times during his time in Sweden, and Gers officials are expected to launch another bid for the 28-year-old.

Colak has struggled to nail down a regular starting place following his move from HNK Rijeka in 2018, scoring just two goals for his parent club during the second half of the campaign.

However, the Greek Super League outfit will only let him leave permanently this summer if they receive €3million plus add-ons.

Rangers could propose another loan deal for the player who still has two years remaining on his contract.

Rangers only have Kemar Roofe and Fashion Sakala as alternative striking options after allowing Cedric Itten to return to Switzerland earlier this month.

Meanwhile, former Rangers midfielder Jamie Ness has announced his retirment from professional football at the age of 31.

Ness, who came through the youth ranks at Ibrox, enjoyed his most memorable moment in a Light Blue jersey by thundering home a stunning long-range strike in a Scottish Cup victory over Old Firm rivals Celtic in 2011.

Injuries have since plagued his career and writing on his Instagram account, he said: “After 14 years it’s time to hang up the boots.

“I have made a lifetime of memories that will stay with me forever. It’s a hell of a rollercoaster being a professional footballer and I’m grateful for every signle minute of it.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some fantastic people and to have played for some fantastic clubs.

“Thank you to my team mates, managers, coaches, fans and everyone who has supported me on this journey.

“Most of all thank you to my family for helping me achieve everything I did, without them it wouldn’t have been possible. I have lived my dream and I’m now ready for the next chapter.”