The Scotland international was on the club’s books as a youngster before forging a career away from Ibrox at St Mirren and Aberdeen, which has led him to the brink of the Premier League with Norwich.
Links with a move to Ibrox have periodically surfaced for the 29-year-old, and the door is open for one in the future despite the disappointment of being released in his early career.
However it’s not something high on his agenda with Norwich about to kick-off their EPL return next month and McLean recovering from the knee injury that kept him out of Euro 2020. "There’s no bitterness,” the midfielder revealed.
"I’d be lying if I said it wasn't something I’d want to do,” he admitted when asked by The Athletic over a future return to his boyhood club. “As a kid that’s what you want to do, play for your boyhood team. Right now I’m about to play in the Premier League again, so I’m not thinking about it, but for me and my family it would be pretty special.
McLean explained: "It wasn’t easy to leave Rangers but I wasn’t part of their plans. My dad’s had a big influence and he knew I needed to move to progress.
“My whole family are Rangers fans but I’m sure they just wanted me to be happy again.
“As a young boy you just want to go, play and enjoy yourself, but I wasn’t doing that much. It was the right thing, but there was no bitterness about it.”
McLean has now been joined at the Canaries by former Rangers youth Billy Gilmour – who starred for Scotland in the midfielder’s absence at Euro 2020. McLean’s penalty prowess had helped Scotland get there, defeating Israel then Serbia, and he watched club-mates Gilmour and Grant Hanley draw 0-0 with England as a TV pundit, and added: “I felt I was involved because I was up and down. It was brilliant. I thought Grant and Billy were the best players on the park.”