NIKOLA KATIC admits the lure of playing for Rangers and Steven Gerrard was too great to turn down after knocking back a switch to Spartak Moscow to sign on at Ibrox.

The defender put pen-to-paper on a four-year with the Light Blues earlier this month as he completed a move from Slaven Belupo.

Rangers beat Spartak to the signing of the Croatian kid as boss Gerrard continues to overhaul his ranks ahead of the new campaign.

Katic has been put through his paces at the Gers pre-season training camp in Spain this week and is delighted to be part of Gerrard’s squad.

He said: “It’s a big pleasure to be part of such a big club. I think the style of football is a big plus for me.

“I like to be aggressive in the tackle and in the air and hopefully this club will help me to do great things.

“The size of the club and Steven Gerrrard as a coach were the main factors.

“For me Rangers are a far bigger club than Spartak, for sure.

“I could have gone to CSKA last season but they wanted to put me on loan at first.

“They wanted me to go to Anzhi Makhachkala, but I wanted to play for another season in Croatia before moving.

“I didn’t speak with Spartak – just my agent. I didn’t’ speak with anyone other than the people at Rangers when I arrived in Glasgow.

“For me, Rangers are bigger than Spartak because of all the history and in my opinion Scottish football is better than in Russia and money wasn’t important – I just want to play.

“The Steven Gerrard factor was very important because he was a really great player and knows everything about football and everyone said to me ‘It’s Steven Gerrard, you need to go because you will learn and make good steps’.”

Rangers will return to Glasgow on Wednesday to continue their preparations for the Europa League qualifiers and new Premiership campaign.

Katic is set to play a significant role for Gerrard’s side after being brought on board to partner Connor Goldson following his switch from Burnley.

And the 21-year-old is loving life working under the guidance of former Liverpool and England skipper Gerrard.

He said: “He called me after I signed and wished me all the best. He told me he was really happy to have a player like me in the team and he told me to work hard and everything will be OK.

“It was great. When I saw Steven Gerrard was calling me I thought ‘wow’. I sent all my friends a message saying Steven Gerrard called me.”

HeraldScotland | Sport

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