ONE IN – another on the way. That’s the hope of Rangers fans after the £2million pursuit of Antonio Colak was successfully completed with the PAOK striker signing a three-year deal.
Now Welsh international forward Tom Lawrence, who quit Derby County at the end of the season, is ready to sign for Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
The Ibrox boss was delighted to land 28-year-old Colak with FC Copenhagen, Panathinaikos, Real Mallorca and former club Malmo, where he spent a year on loan, all expressing an interest in his immediate future.
It was during his temporary spell at the Swedish club that the three times-capped Croatian hitman delivered a double salvo in Glasgow to knock the team, with Steven Gerrard in charge, out of the Champions League at the qualifying stage a year ago.
Gers had seen their original £1.75million bid rejected by the player’s Greek club a week ago, but they returned to negotiations to make an improved offer of £2million plus bonuses.
Colak, speaking to the Scottish Sun, admitted: “I am really, really happy to sign for Rangers.
“I have played in front of those incredible fans already and now I want to experience on my own what it is like to be a part of this huge club, to win titles and to achieve every target the club has.”
Van Bronckhorst added: “He is a very experienced player who has played at high levels and scored a lot of goals for the teams he has played for.”
Colak was born and raised in Germany and started his professional career with Karlsruher before going through the youth ranks of Stuttgarter Kickers, SGV Freiberg and Hoffenheim.
He moved to Nurnberg but the majority of his appearances in a three-year stint came for the Bundesliga club’s reserve side. He was loaned out to Lechia Gdansk where he scored 10 goals in 31 games before moving to Hoffenheim.
He was on his loan travels again at Kaiserslautern, Darmstadt, Ingolstadt and Rijeka where he agreed a pemanent stay and scored 51 goals in 92 matches.
PAOK signed him from the Croatian club for £2.5million, but he was again loaned out, this time to Malmo, where he shone last term with 22 goals in 41 games.
Van Bronckhorst hopes he can continue that form in Scotland, especially with conued speculation over Alfredo Morelos who is entering the final 12 months of his contract.
The 28-year-old former Derby captain had been targeted by Bramall Lane boss and former Hibs gaffer Paul Heckingbottom, but the club have been informed of the player’s intention to go Gers, according to a report in Yorkshire Live.
They state: “United were confident they were leading the race and that Lawrence was keen to join. Yet, Rangers’ lucrative offer and the chance to play European football saw Lawrence opt for the switch north of the border. There were several Championship clubs in for the 28-year-old, including Watford, but Lawrence had chosen United over those.
“After talking with Heckingbottom, he was impressed with how the Blades boss sold the club to him and what he could offer from a football point of view. It was only Rangers’ intervention that stopped him from making the switch to Bramall Lane. In the end, United could not compete with the deal from the Scottish giants, whose proposal was simply too good for the player to turn down.”
Lawrence kicked off his career at Manchester United, but couldn’t make the first-team breakthrough and had various loan spells before moving to Leicester City and again more loans followed before a switch to Derby County.