Rangers once had to ‘doorstep’ superstar to destroy Chelsea transfer

first_img 3 3 Gascoigne joined Lazio from Tottenham for £5.5m in 1992, two years after lighting up Italia ’90 with his world class displays for England Each week, talkSPORT.com looks at transfers from years gone by; the deals that saw fans express delight in whatever the equivalent of a NSFW meme was at the time. Here, it’s the time Rangers beat Chelsea to the signing of Gazza.Back in 1995 Celtic and Rangers could still compete with Europe’s biggest clubs for football’s top names.So when it was rumoured that Paul Gascoigne, one of the best midfielders in the game, was going to call time on his career in Italy, the Glasgow club made their move. And he was right. Lazio received £4.3m and Gascoigne was a Ger, greeted by thousands outside Ibrox upon his arrival in July 1995.In total he scored 39 goals in 103 games during his time in Scotland, winning two league titles, the Scottish Cup and League Cup.But was a hero by his fourth league game when scored against Celtic in a 2-0 win and ended his first season by scoring a hat-trick against Aberdeen to secure the title.His second goal, to put Rangers 2-1 up after being 1-0 behind, combined a mixture of skill, strength and determination.Plus, had he not met Ally McCoist then football fans will never have known about the time Gazza broke into his Rangers’ team-mate’s house to make himself a sandwich. Rangers beat Chelsea to Gazza’s signature in 1995 and he lit up Ibrox center_img “I said ‘I’m here to get you to sign for Rangers’ and he said ‘okay’.Chelsea, though, were also plotting their move at a time when the club’s board were trying to enhance the image of the club in Europe. The Blues snapped up Ruud Gullit and thought Gazza would further boost them.And despite the injury problems that followed him from Tottenham to Lazio combined with the wages a player of his stature could command, manager Glenn Hoddle thought it was a risk worth taking. If the midfielder was returning to England, they were sure it would be to Chelsea.Smith even thinks the player’s agents at the time wanted him to go to England.However, Chelsea’s then chief executive Colin Hutchinson told the Official Biography of Chelsea: “[Gazza] listened to what Glenn had to say about football and he was his usual jocular self. He was fine, but it was always very clear to us that while he was joking and he was polite it was really sorted that he was going to Rangers.” His time in Rome, though, was hampered by injury and in his three years as a Lazio player could only manage 41 appearance, yet he was idolised by supporters Manager Walter Smith had read the reports and quickly explained to his chairman, David Murray, the chance Rangers had to steal a march on their rivals, no doubt telling him this was someone you’d pay to watch train – a man Sir Alex Ferguson was gutted not to have.“I said, ‘Look, we’ve got an opportunity here.’ Then, Rangers and Celtic could still compete (with English clubs for players). The chairman got in touch with the president at Lazio,” Smith told The Scotsman.“It was the end of the season so I got on a flight to Rome, the people at Lazio gave me his address. He stayed in the hills outside Rome. I just got a taxi and went up and doorstepped him. 3last_img read more