​The former agent of ex-Brazil superstar Ronaldo has revealed that he came close to gracing British football with his presence during the height of his playing career – as Glasgow Rangers made him a mammoth offer.

Giovanni Branchini told ​Mail Online that the 54-time Scottish champions even offered Ronaldo the chance to play specifically in Champions League games if he were to join from Barcelona back in 1997. 

Inter Milan won the race to sign the player in the end, while Lazio and the Glasgow giants ended up losing out. Though any club willing to put up the £20m that would buy him out of his Barcelona contract were at the time free to negotiate with the player.

Speaking on Ronaldo’s offer from Rangers, Branchini said: “The clause in his contract was a novelty at the time and it scared a lot of clubs off. The three who were really interested were Inter, Lazio and Glasgow Rangers, who followed negotiations all the way.

Ronaldo of Inter Milan

“The offer from Glasgow Rangers was incredible. They told us he didn’t have to play on a Saturday in the Scottish League. They were desperate to win the Champions League and were going to allow him to play in European matches only.

“But Inter had followed him from when he used to play in Brazil. Barcelona reneged on a new contract and Inter were the first club to meet the release clause so he went there.”

Rangers, after three seasons of languishing in the lower leagues, secured their return to the top flight of Scottish football at the back end of last season.

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