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Ally McCoist delighted Jelavic bid was rejected by Rangers

By Lisa Gray

Manager Ally McCoist has confirmed Rangers did receive an offer "in the region" of £9million for Nikica Jelavic on transfer deadline day.

The Croatian striker was the subject of interest from an unnamed club hours before the window shut after the Scottish champions had previously rejected a bid of £6.5million from Leicester.

McCoist has admitted relief at retaining the services of one of his key players, who he credits with having a major role in Rangers winning the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title last season.

Asked if Jelavic was the subject of a £9million bid, McCoist said: "There was certainly a bid that came in.

"I can't say the exact figure but it was certainly in that region. I don't know the exact figures to be honest, I was only interested in the fact that it was turned down.

"We are all delighted that Nikica hasn't left and I speak for the supporters, the players and the management staff.

"It would have been a massive blow for us to lose Nikica but thankfully we haven't."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell appeared to mock the reported big-money interest in Jelavic the following day when he said: "Well, last night we got a £29million offer for (Gary) Hooper. From an unknown agent, from an unknown club, from another universe."

Responding to those comments, McCoist said: "I'm over it. Peter was, I think, having a laugh and a joke.

"Who am I to say nobody is allowed to have a laugh and a joke?

"It's absolutely fine. There are no problems at all with me with Peter's comments."

However, Rangers have been dealt a blow with the news that Jelavic is out of today's league game at Dundee United after returning from international duty with Croatia with a knee injury.

McCoist said: "He won't travel with us. He is just feeling the effects of the international break and he's not 100 per cent.

"We will give him another 48 hours and the doctor will have a look at him again on Sunday morning.

"We are hopeful it's just a little bit of a knock, which it looks like at this moment in time.

"There is a little bit of puffiness but nothing major so I would be hopeful he will be involved in next week's Old Firm game."

Meanwhile, John Fleck will remain at Rangers at least until January after a loan move to Sheffield United fell through.

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