Former St Mirren keeper, Vaclav Hladky, was long thought to be a potential target for Steven Gerrard as he looked for experienced back-up to Allan McGregor and a replacement for Wes Foderingham, and he’s told the Glasgow Times just how close he came to a move.
The Czech youth cap didn’t really endear himself with fans of the Light Blues last year, when it first emerged that there was interest in his services from Ibrox, with the 29-year old claiming that he preferred a move to the English Championship rather than staying in Scotland.
Hladky appreciated the interest from both Rangers and Celtic, however, in reality, it doesn’t look as if a move was ever that close to fruition:
“There were many opportunities, abroad as well, some big clubs were interested.
“For us it was about trying to pick the right option and we spoke a lot about it so we decided to stay in Britain.
“Rangers tried to get some information but they decided on another goalie. It was between myself and him, maybe one more. It was unlucky for me but football is like that. You need luck as well as good performances so when Rangers picked another goalkeeper I had to move on to try and get another opportunity.
“It was nice because it proves your worth. I’m always happy when someone is interested in me, especially these great and big clubs. But it is what it is, maybe in future you never say never.”
Luck didn’t really have anything to do with it, Jon McLaughlin jumped at the chance to return to Scotland whereas Hladky always thought that the grass was greener and has ended up with Salford City in League Two.
Who's the better keeper?
To say that Rangers have won a watch with McLaughlin is something of an understatement with the international keeper being part of the defence that broke a Scottish league record of seven consecutive clean sheets from the start of the season – form that has kept Allan McGregor on the sidelines when he has been fit.
It was originally thought that the former Hearts man was seen as a deputy for McGregor and would then provide competition for Robby McCrorie when he returns to Ibrox, however, given his start to the season, there is nothing to suggest that he can’t hold onto the number one jersey like a comfortably taken cross.