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NIKICA JELAVIC could be 90 minutes away from landing a move to Rangers - if Rapid Vienna crash out of Europe tomorrow.

Gers have already had one bid for the Croat hitman turned down.

That hasn't stopped the Ibrox side's pursuit of the 24-year-old Rapid striker. The Austrian side aren't keen to part with Jelavic.

Sources suggest, however, that the possibility of him making a switch to Glasgow will hinge on the result of his team's Europa League qualifier with Beroe Stara Zagora.

Jelavic played the full 90 minutes as Rapid bagged an away goal in the 1-1 first leg tie in Bulgaria.

If Rapid don't make it through it's thought club chiefs would be more willing to let Jelavic speak to Gers.

With two years left on his deal they'd hold out for around £3.5million.

If they win they'll want Jelavic to spearhead their attack in Europe.

He would become cup-tied for the Champions League if he were to feature in the play-off round and helped Rapid to the group stages.

That would put Gers off the man earmarked by boss Walter Smith to replace Kris Boyd.

Jelavic would already have hero status among Gers fans after bagging three goals against Celtic in the Europa League group stages last term.

Honduran striker Georgie Welcome will arrive at Ibrox on trial today in a bid to win himself a deal.

Gers are also tracking Portsmouth striker John Utaka with boss Smith desperate to add to his squad before the Champions League proper starts.

Another Ibrox target, Bongani Khumalo, below, fears his Gers switch could be off after he was crocked in training.

The South Africa World Cup star suffered an ankle ligament injury and has been ruled out of his country's friendly against Ghana in 10 days' time.

Ibrox boss Smith had made his interest known in signing the tough-tackling centre-back and countryman Katlego Mphela.

However, 23-year-old Khumalo could now be sidelined for up to a month, which would potentially scupper the deal.

Khumalo's club boss at Supersport United Gavin Hunt maintains he knows nothing of Rangers' interest in his star man but he insists he'll be happy if the injury helps keep Khumalo at the club.

He said: "I need to get Khumalo fit for the South African Premiership season which kicks off at the end of this month.

"I hope to have him ready, but there is no chance he will travel with our squad to Rabat for our pre-season training or be fit to play for South Africa against Ghana.

"As Supersport's coach, I am always the last to know about player movements!

"It is not an ideal situation reading in the papers where my players are intending to play in the coming season.

"The game is now all about agents, but at this stage, Bongani is still contracted to us."

http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/3077785/Rangers-sweat-on-Nikica-Jelavic.html

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GEORGIE Welcome has pledged to do whatever it takes to win a deal with Rangers.

The Honduras hitman will fly into Glasgow today to begin a week's trial at Ibrox.

Welcome will complete a £500,000 move if he performs well - and he says he's determined to impress Rangers boss Walter Smith.

The Motagua striker said: "I'm very happy and excited about this opportunity.

"My team-mates have been very supportive. My goal is to win a deal.

"The president of Motagua told me to make the most of the opportunity and he wants me to succeed abroad.

"I'll be with Rangers for a few days and I have been told it is a test.

"I don't know a great deal about the club because I only knew for certain I was going in the past few days. But I will do my research about them. I am told it is a physical league in Scotland - but that doesn't bother me. I am used to people kicking me.

"I'm more than ready to meet this challenge. I will do everything possible to make this work.

"My faith in God will help me. I have waited a long time for this chance and I intend to take it."

Daily Record... Hope the boy does well (tu)

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i am not putting much faith in this article - it says he has two years left on his deal, but its only one i am sure...finally, why would walter bother going public with his interest if it is such a non starter as being suggested - surely walt wouldnt bother chasing someone if he is being told it will depend on their result in europe!

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i am not putting much faith in this article - it says he has two years left on his deal, but its only one i am sure...finally, why would walter bother going public with his interest if it is such a non starter as being suggested - surely walt wouldnt bother chasing someone if he is being told it will depend on their result in europe!

I agree wi that

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i am not putting much faith in this article - it says he has two years left on his deal, but its only one i am sure...finally, why would walter bother going public with his interest if it is such a non starter as being suggested - surely walt wouldnt bother chasing someone if he is being told it will depend on their result in europe!

I agree wi that

totally agree with you on this :tu:

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STV on the subject this morning

Walter Smith could return from Australia to good news after the manager said he was expecting a decision on his bid to sign Nikica Jelavic. Smith has said he expects to have an answer at the start of the week after making an offer for the Croatian striker.

The Rapid Vienna forward is Rangers’ top signing target and the SPL champions have already had one offer for the player rejected. Negotiations have continued though and Smith said he was hopeful he would know the outcome soon.

Jelavic is not the only striker on Smith’s shopping list and Honduran hitman Georgie Welcome will begin a week’s trial at Murray Park in the hope of landing a permanent transfer from Deportivo Motagua.

“We will know by Monday or Tuesday about Jelavic,” Smith said.

“Welcome arrives on Tuesday for a week, although he can’t play in any games.”

The Rangers manager will travel back to Scotland with his squad on Sunday after playing three matches in Australia. Following poor weather in Sydney earlier in the week the pitch for the final two games was in poor condition and Smith said he was relieved his diminished squad had not suffered any serious injury.

Lee McCulloch and Kyle Lafferty both came off with minor injuries against Sydney FC on Wednesday, and in the 1-0 defeat to AEK Athens on Saturday Lafferty had to be substituted after half an hour. David Weir went over on his ankle in the second half but Smith said neither injury was cause for concern.

“It’s a groin strain Kyle’s got, the same as Andy Webster picked up” he said after the match.

“The condition of the pitch is as much to blame for both of the knocks as anything else.

”And I thought when big Davie went over it was going to be a bad one but it doesn’t look as if it is going to turn out that way.

“We had three competitive games and although I’m a bit disappointed with the outcome of this one, we’re pleased with the way the trip has gone.”

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According to a Croatian news report I just read, we offered £1.5m and it was rejected- they wanted £3m. So I'd guess our new offer is somewhere around £2.5m?

Thats what i was thinking mate, or maybe even £2.25M (tu)

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has anyone seen him play much other than the celtic games? be interesting to see whether he is consistent and what his strengths are

Seen him vs Villa, watched his goals the other day on youtube and he can strike the ball so cleanly.

Scored in the first 13 secs vs Villa IIRC.

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