By George Overhill

29th Mar, 2023 | 6:20pm

Rangers: New manager Nikica Jelavic wants Ibrox job after Walter Smith influence - Sky Sports

Former Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic “definitely” wants the Rangers job in the future as he sets out on a career in management, he told Sky Sports.

The 37-year-old spent two fruitful seasons in the Gers attack under Walter Smith and then Ally McCoist between 2010 and 2012, and the former had a major influence on him.

The current Lokomotiv Zagreb under-19s boss only retired from playing two years ago, but has grand plans for his coaching career which includes managing in the English Premier League, but alongside another of his former sides, Everton, he has particular designs on an Ibrox opportunity.

Jelavic told Sky Sports’ Vinny O’Connor of Smith: “Walter was like a really proper gentleman and he brought me to Rangers. He helped me a lot with advice with everything. [Former Everton boss] David Moyes, the same, and I was happy to be part of their clubs.”

On has plans for future roles he said: “Listen, you never know in the future but, definitely, that would be great, especially Rangers and Everton.

“With both of these two clubs I really have special memories.”


Jelavic would have good memories of his time in Glasgow as he played under two club legends and won the SPFL title, plus a League Cup, while compiling an excellent record of 51 combined goals and assists in just 56 games.

It is likely to be some way off with the former Hull and West Ham forward still at the start of his journey into management, and Michael Beale currently (fairly) secure in the hot seat.

But just like another ex-Gers player-turned manager Mikel Arteta has been telling the Rangers Museum, people build strong connections to this club.

Jelavic was touring some of his old clubs over the international break and featured for the Light Blues Legends XI at Ibrox on Sunday (26 March), so he has renewed acquaintances with other club figures very recently.

He already has his UEFA A and B licences and his awaiting enrolment on the Pro Licence course.

Beale dropped everything to leave QPR and return to the club during the World Cup break, and it sounds like if he saw the chance Jelavic would do the same.

If it does come around and he can match some of the success that he had in Glasgow as a player, and certainly that Smith had in charge, it would be a very rewarding development.

In other Rangers news, one Bears ace has been blamed by a legendary player for an international episode that cost the club in a major way.