Gers counter Jelavic claim

PA Sport
Nikica Jelavic
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Nikica Jelavic

Rangers and Nikica Jelavic on Thursday appeared to be at odds with each other over the player`s transfer to Everton.

Ibrox chairman Craig Whyte told fans in an open letter this week that he sanctioned the departure of the club`s top goalscorer partly because the striker wanted to leave the Scottish champions, however, Jelavic claimed on Thursday that he did not force the reported £5.5million switch to Goodison Park.

That prompted Rangers to respond to those comments and chief operations officer Ali Russell said: "Nikica told Ally McCoist personally on Monday he wanted to move to the English Premier League so to suggest he didn't want to leave Rangers is nonsense."

He added: "Nikica, and indeed his family, were widely quoted throughout January about playing in England and his agent also communicated the fact he wanted to achieve a lifetime ambition and test himself in the Premier League.

"He wants to earn a starting place for Croatia at Euro 2012 and felt a move to England's top flight would help him achieve that.

"Nikica was a terrific player for Rangers and we wish him well at Everton but to suggest he was forced to leave Ibrox is just ridiculous."

Earlier in the day, Jelavic told a media conference: "My dream was to play in the English Premier League but I never forced my transfer.

"I spoke with Ally McCoist and said if the president wants me to stay I'll stay and if they need money and want me to leave, I'll leave - the club decided."

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