I tried to sign John Collins for Rangers, reveals Graeme Souness

John Collins and Paul Byrne celebrates a goal for Celtic against Rangers at Ibrox in November 1993. Picture: Allan Milligan
John Collins and Paul Byrne celebrates a goal for Celtic against Rangers at Ibrox in November 1993. Picture: Allan Milligan
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Graeme Souness has revealed that he tried to beat Celtic to the signing of John Collins in the late 1980s.

Former Rangers boss Souness has claimed that Collins, who was impressing in the Hibs midfield at the time, was interested in making the move to Ibrox, but decided against the switch and moved to Celtic instead, where he spent six years and made more than 200 appearances.

Collins was impressing for Hibs. Picture: SNS Group

Collins was impressing for Hibs. Picture: SNS Group

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Souness revealed he’d also spoken to Liverpool star Ray Houghton about a transfer to Rangers.

He said: “I’d spoken to both of them, they both showed a keen interest to begin with. But I think after speaking to whoever - members of their family or other advice they got - they decided it wasn’t such a great idea after all.

“And I fully get that.”

Souness then brought Mo Johnston to Ibrox from French side Nantes, and he hailed the former Celtic midfielder for his decision to join Rangers.

Graeme Souness, right, with Mo Johnstone in 1989. Picture: TSPL

Graeme Souness, right, with Mo Johnstone in 1989. Picture: TSPL

Souness added: “For all the people who were involved in Maurice joining Rangers - the directors, David Murray made a big call - the one that deserves credit is Maurice himself.

“He knew he was putting himself at risk and putting himself up for criticism. Fair play to him.”

• Graeme Souness was promoting his new autobiography Football: My Life, My Passion