By Jason Jones

16th May, 2020 | 9:58am

McCoist 'can't believe' Rangers tried to sign Ronaldo in '97, as 2016 agent claim resurfaces

Ally McCoist has claimed that he “can’t believe” Rangers were interested in signing Ronaldo in the late ’90s. 

The Brazilian legend joined Italian giants Inter Milan in 1997, but speaking in 2016, his agent Giovanni Branchini suggested that the Gers were very much in the running to land him prior to that transfer.

He said: “The three who were really interested were Inter, Lazio and Glasgow Rangers, who followed negotiations all the way. The offer from Glasgow Rangers was incredible.

“They told us he didn’t have to play on a Saturday in the Scottish League. They were desperate to win the Champions League and were going to allow him to play in the European matches only.”

Those comments resurfaced again this week, and McCoist has expressed his disbelief at the claim – as well as cheekily arguing that El Fenomeno might have struggled to break into the starting XI at Ibrox back then.

Speaking on talkSPORT on Friday morning, he said: “Frankly, I can’t believe that.

“Are you telling me Ronaldo could’ve signed for Rangers before Inter Milan?

“He wouldnae have got a game!”

What can we make of all this?

Can you really blame McCoist for being blown away by this one?

Before knee injuries decimated his career, Ronaldo was far and away one of the premier talents in European football.

His record of 296 goals in 451 career appearances is still jaw-dropping, and the year prior to joining Inter, he had just bagged 47 in 49 for Barcelona.

What’s really interesting about this, however, is just how lofty the Gers’ ambitions were back then.

With a side boasting the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup, and Gennaro Gattuso, it really was a golden period for the Bears, and the fact that they felt they were genuinely capable of challenging for the top prize in European football isn’t just a sad reflection of how difficult things have been at Ibrox over the past decade, but also how the profile of Scottish football has fallen in recent years.

In other Rangers news, ‘Tweet of the day’ – Many Rangers fans delighted by Bradley Wiggins photo in classic Gers shirt.