According to former Glasgow Rangers academy technical director Tommy Wilson, Arda Turan once expressed an interest in making the move to Ibrox as a youngster.
The Gers will play against Galatasaray on Thursday in their Europa League play-off match, and they will line up against the 100-time Turkey international as such. However, it seems that the 33-year-old once harboured hopes of appearing for the 54-time Scottish champions when he was just starting out on his career.
Talking to The Scottish Sun, Wilson said:
“I’ll never forget that conversation. He was quite direct about it too.
“All the teams were staying in the same hotel in Poland, which was a little bit strange.
“I don’t know where the Rangers connection came up. He knew Rangers were a big club and he definitely had a conversation with me and Kirky about coming to Rangers.
“He spoke English, so he maybe wanted to speak English. Maybe he had a real interest. I’d have thought he’d have been more interested in going over to the Spanish team to try to ingratiate himself with them.
“I remember him being open and a boy who was easy to get on with. Obviously at that time you didn’t know which ones would make it all the way.
“I’ve no idea how the conversation happened, how it started or what it was about. I do know I’d just agreed to join Rangers and Jimmy Sinclair and I had talked to Kirky about joining us, so I think maybe Kirky was wearing two hats on that occasion.
“It would have been quite a coup for us to get a boy who eventually went on to achieve so much. What a career he’s had. He’s been absolutely superb for the clubs he’s been at.”
It would be fair to say that Turan has had quite the career. It was with Gala that he started to impress, scoring 44 goals and providing 76 assists in 191 games before securing a move to Atletico Madrid. He was an important player for Los Rojiblancos – during his time at the club, he won La Liga and helped the side to two Champions League finals, with them unfortunately on the losing side both times to Real Madrid.
Would you liked to have signed Turan?
A move to Barcelona didn’t really work out – he made just 36 league appearances in two full campaigns despite costing £24.1m – but the fact he was signed by such a European giant shows his tremendous ability. Had the Gers been able to take him north of the border, they would have likely been signing a top talent. As it is, this will forever remain a story that might have been.
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