Niko Kranjcar: I've joined Rangers to grab title from Celtic
Niko Kranjcar has thrown down the gauntlet to five-in-a-row champions Celtic by insisting that he has joined Rangers to win the title.
Kranjcar became the latest major signing for Ibrox manager Mark Warburton yesterday when he completed the paperwork on a two-year contract, joining fellow former QPR team-mates Joey Barton and Clint Hill.
The 31-year-old Croatian international, who also previously starred for Tottenham and Portsmouth, was sold on a move to Ibrox when Warburton flew to New York to meet him in May – especially when the Englishman confirmed that his main aim is to wrest the Ladbrokes SPFL Premiership trophy back from Celtic.
Kranjcar has become the sixth new signing – with Jordan Rossiter and Accrington
pair Josh Windass and Matt Crooks already recruited – and former Scotland goalkeeper Matt Gilks will become No 7 today with ex-Crystal Palace defender Adrian Mariappa and a striker set to follow soon
There were other offers – including New York Cosmos who wanted Kranjcar to sign on for longer than his initial three months – but he believes Rangers offers him the chance to be a winner.
He said: “My first question to Mark Warburton was ‘Is the goal to win the league?’ Because if you are signing for a club of the magnitude of Rangers then I think that has to be the goal.
“You have to try everything to achieve that goal.
“The response from the manager was positive and from that moment on I knew I would be really happy with the opportunity to sign here.
“The fact that he flew to New York was probably the most persuasive thing.
“I was thinking: Ok, why is he coming? He doesn’t need to really convince me to come to Rangers, knowing what I did about the club.
“But it was great to speak to him. Once I met him it convinced me even more so.
“We had a really good and constructive conversation about where he sees the football club and the direction they want to take things. I was really impressed, both by that message and by the effort he made in flying out to meet me,” added Kranjcar.
“He wants me to be committed to the cause, which is winning the league.”
Kranjcar will train at Auchenhowie today and will be part of the 25-man squad which flies out to Charleston, South Carolina on Monday for a ten-day training camp.