“Is this not somebody you could maybe look at?” – Former Ger makes shock transfer claim after contacting club
Building a squad isn’t always about just having a good recruitment and analysis department, an obsessed manager who has kept an eye on players who he might one day want to sign or a recommendation from a former player who is still in the game.
It is the latter that saw Alfredo Morelos arrive at Rangers, our analysts did the donkey work and found a 21-year old striker pulling up trees in Finland and who better to ask about his reputation and potential to be a success at Ibrox than Jonatan Johansson – the Fin gave the thumbs up and the rest, as they say, is history.
Morelos isn’t the only player who has been pointed our way in recent years and, speaking to Go Radio, via The Daily Rccord, former skipper Craig Moore has told of an audacious attempt to get one of Europe’s hottest prospects to Rangers – Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli:
“It’s a funny story. He was in Russia and due to all the issues he went back to Georgia to play at Batumi.
“I had the mandate to try and get him to Southampton with the management company I am working with. Southampton at £11-12million – which was the figure at the time – said that’s probably not something we are looking at, and it’s still a bit of a risk. The English clubs like to see you perform somewhere else before and then pay overs, which is madness for me.
“I did throw the little Malteser at Rangers saying ‘is this not somebody you could maybe look at? Get him in on loan with an option to buy, because it’s not going to happen here in the UK’. Rangers were set at that time with their recruitment and their signings, and the next minute I seen him pop up at Napoli for £10million.
“And then this season with what he has done in the Champions League and what he has done domestically he is probably worth about £80-90million. “
With hindsight, Rangers actually did ok against Kvaratskhelia, and the two games against Napoli weren’t as one-sided as some of the performances they have put in. At Ibrox we actually looked pretty good until James Sands was sent off.
I think it’s safe to say that the stumbling block might have been the £10m price tag that saw him move to Napoli, we only just managed to stretch to the £7m that we paid for Ryan Kent and even that included a very sizeable sell on clause.
The key to having success in the transfer market is signing the likes of Kvaratskhelia before they make their big moves, for example, Rubin Kazan paid only £600,000 to take him to Russia – that is the sort of fee we could afford but we have to cast our net far and wide, not just looking over the border.