By Doug Ward

1st Jul, 2022 | 3:10pm

Rangers alarm bells ring after what happened on Wednesday to Antonio Colak as transfer bid made

Alarm bells were “triggered at Ibrox” when Rangers target Antonio Colak played for PAOK in a pre-season friendly earlier this week, according to the Daily Record.

The newspaper reported via their print edition on Friday (1 July, page 52) that the Gers are closing in on signing the Croatia international, 28, as Giovanni van Bronckhorst looks to strengthen his centre-forward options.

It is understood that the fact Colak played 45 minutes against Dutch outfit Go Ahead Eagles on Wednesday night (29 June) raised eyebrows at Ibrox but PAOK manager Razvan Lucescu confirms that while an offer has been made for his striker, he’s not going to be quick to sell him.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Lucescu said: “I can tell you I know about an offer for Antonio from a good club that for him could be important. At the same time, if Antonio leaves in the next few days, it’s a problem as it leaves us with one striker.”

Strange turn of events

Usually, when a club is selling a player, they won’t risk them in meaningless pre-season friendlies.

If Colak suffered a serious injury against Go Ahead Eagles on Wednesday, the Gers would have backed out of the deal, that would have been that.

Colak isn’t the only striker in the world so the Light Blues could have signed someone else if that turn of events was to unfold but PAOK would have been the ones stuck with a crock and with no money to show for it.

They’d only be causing issues for themselves.

Clearly, Colak is a top target at Ibrox based on the reported bid for him.

The Croatian scored twice at Ibrox last season when he was on loan at Malmo.

He dumped Steven Gerrard’s side out of the Champions League qualifiers with his brace but he struggled for game-time after he went back to parent club PAOK in the winter.

Colak is a journeyman and we’re sceptical as to how he’ll perform at Ibrox.

But he’s got to be better than Cedric Itten.

In other Rangers news, this Gers midfielder has been told he’s free to leave Ibrox this summer after he arrived at Auchenhowie on Thursday.