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20th Oct, 2017 | 12:35pm

Graeme Souness: Rangers almost signed this ex-midfielder who became Celtic icon

By James Black

Former Rangers boss Graeme Souness has revealed he almost signed Celtic star John Collins for the Ibrox side during his time in charge.

The ex-midfielder was still with Hibernian when Souness looked at taking him along the M8 but Collins decided against the move – joining Celtic a year later where he would go on to become a club icon.

Souness also revealed that he tried to bring Ray Houghton to Rangers around the same time but Houghton opted to stay with Liverpool.

After taking charge at Rangers, Souness rebuilt the playing staff signing players like Chris Woods, Terry Butcher, Trevor Steven and Ray Wilkins.

Shortly afterwards, Rangers signed Maurice Johnston from Nantes as the former Celtic striker became the first high-profile Roman Catholic to sign for the club in decades.

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Souness revealed that both Houghton and Collins showed interest in a move before later turning it down after speaking to people close to them.

“I’d spoken to both of them,” Souness said on BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday morning, as quoted by the Daily Record website.

“They both showed a keen interest to begin with.

“But I think after speaking to whoever – whether it be members of their family or other advice they got – they decided it wasn’t such a great idea.

“And I fully get that.

“For all the people who were involved in Maurice joining Glasgow Rangers – the directors, David Murray made a big call – the one that deserves all the credit is Maurice himself.

“He’s the one who knew he was putting himself at risk and putting himself up for criticism.

“Fair play to Maurice.”

Collins would make 226 appearances for Celtic before spells playing with Monaco, Fulham and Everton.

The cultured midfielder played 58 times for Scotland, playing at Euro 96 and the World Cup in France in 1998.

Houghton went on to play for Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Reading after leaving Liverpool in 1992.

The Glasgow-born midfielder also won 73 caps for the Republic of Ireland before retiring from playing at Stevenage Borough in May 2000.

In other Rangers news, Gers fans reacted on Twitter in hilarious fashion after Celtic lost to Bayern Munich.

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