If a report from the Greek outlet Sport 24 is believed to be true, Rangers tabled a bid for PAOK centre-forward Antonio Čolak over a potential summer transfer. But the bid has been rebuffed (as claimed by Politic, cited by the Daily Record) as the Gers did not meet the valuation set by his current employers.
PAOK is demanding a fee of around €2m for the Croatia international who still has a couple of years left in his contract. They are also open to sanctioning a season-long loan if the asking price cannot be agreed upon, but according to Record Sport, the Glasgow giants are unlikely to submit another offer anytime soon.
The supporters pretty much remember Colak for all the wrong reasons. He alone ruined their Champions League dreams last year in Malmo colours. The striking ace scored a brace in the second half which resulted in a nightmare for the Ibrox faithful.
Colak scored 19 goals in 40 appearances for the Swedish giants while on loan, but he failed to replicate a similar show since rejoining the Greek Super League side earlier this year. He only netted thrice in 23 outings across competitions and PAOK, therefore, are willing to listen to offers for the big ‘number 9’.
Born in Germany, the 28-year-old attacker progressed through the lower leagues of the country after spending his youth spell with SGV Freiberg, Stuttgarter Kickers and 1899 Hoffenheim. However, he failed to make it to their senior ranks and joined the reserve side of Karlsruher who were competing in the fourth tier. Nürnberg secured his services a year later and eventually promoted him to their Bundesliga squad following a blistering scoring streak with the reserves.
Meanwhile, Colak was sent on loan to Lechia Gdańsk after Nürnberg’s relegation. It was a successful spell in Poland and his poaching traits saw him signing a contract with Hoffenheim in the summer of 2015. But he never featured for them, nor did the spells with Kaiserslautern, Darmstadt and Ingolstadt worked out over the next two and a half years.
His stint in Germany was not at all illustrious and the Bundesliga outfit loaned him out to Rijeka. There he revived his game and the Prva HNL side eventually made his move permanent. PAOK scouted Colak extensively during his tenure in Croatia before tying him down a couple of summers ago.
Why Rangers Must Step Up The Chase
Rangers, on the other hand, struggled high up the pitch amid injuries to both Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe. Fashion Sakala is not fancied as a centre-forward and gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst opted for midfield star Joe Aribo as a makeshift ‘False 9’ in both the Europa League as well as Scottish Cup finals.
Cedric Itten, not being in Bronckhorst’s plan, has already been offloaded whereas the uncertainty over Morelos’ long-term future (with just a year left in his Ibrox deal) depicts the necessity of snapping up a frontman. Rangers, nevertheless, are not the only team keeping close tabs on his situation and the decision of playing hardball might prove costly unless they step up the chase within the next few days.