By Wayne Veysey

12th Aug, 2017 | 2:02pm

Kris Boyd: My mates would never have returned to Ibrox if Rangers had signed strongly-linked striker this summer

By Harry Sykes

Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd has claimed in the Scottish Sun that Rangers did not re-sign Steven Naismith this summer because of the way he left the club five years ago.

Norwich striker Naismith has been strongly linked with a return to Ibrox, with the Glasgow giants at one point odds on with bookmakers to agree a deal for the forward.

But Boyd, who played alongside Naismith at Rangers for three years, claims a deal would have been unpalatable for supporters.

“When there was talk of Naisy going back in the summer I had mates saying they wouldn’t set foot back inside Ibrox if the wee man signed for Gers,” Boyd wrote in the Scottish Sun.

“They weren’t kidding either, they simply weren’t having it.”

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The 45-times Scotland international spent five years at Ibrox from 2007 to 2012, scoring 33 goals and supplying 30 assists during 132 appearances in all competitions.

He joined Everton on a free transfer when Rangers went into administration and made a big impression for the Premier League club, scoring 26 goals in 123 matches, including a memorable hat-trick against Chelsea.

Boyd, now on the books of Scottish Premiership club Kilmarnock, played for Rangers from 2006 until 2010 and then again during the 2014-15 season.

The Scottish striker believes that Rangers did not sign Naismith in the summer transfer window because of the way the forward left the Gers in the summer of 2012.

Boyd added in the Scottish Sun: “Remember that press conference he held? Sitting alongside Steven Whittaker, he said how Rangers wasn’t the Rangers he signed for, and he was well within his rights walking out the door.

“Rangers was on its knees at the time, desperate for every penny it could get. But Naisy and Whitts wanted out.

“I’m sure they both regret the way the whole thing was handled because no one came out of it looking good.

“Holding a press conference to leave a club, what was that all about?

“As it turned out they got their big money moves with Naisy signing for Everton and Whitts going to Norwich.

“It’s maybe only now they look back on it and think they should not have left the way they did.

“I once left Rangers on a free. But that happens, it wasn’t an issue.

“Whittaker and Naismith didn’t need to stay and play in the lower leagues of Scottish football.

“Had both players come out and said they weren’t prepared to go down to the Third Division then I think the vast majority of Gers fans would have accepted that.”

Rangers have already make extensive attempts to overhaul their squad in the summer market, with nine new signings already in place and Pedro Caixinha in the market to make at least two more captures.

Naismith has two years remaining on the Norwich contract that he signed when he joined from Everton in January of last year for a fee of £9million.

Naismith was a mainstay for Norwich last season, scoring seven goals and supplying three assists in 32 matches in all competitions.

In other Rangers transfer news, a new arrival is heading in.

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