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New Gers star McAuley can't wait for Euro nights at Ibrox

 

By Paul Ferguson

Northern Ireland star Gareth McAuley last night admitted the lure of big European nights at Ibrox helped convince him to sign for Rangers.

Lifelong Light Blues fan McAuley, a free agent after being released by West Brom in June, has agreed a one-year deal to be Steven Gerrard's 15th signing since taking over as Rangers boss in June.

The 38-year-old centre-half joins his international colleague Kyle Lafferty at Ibrox and moves to Glasgow after spending seven years in the Premier League with the Baggies.

McAuley was one of Northern Ireland's stand-out players at the European Championship finals in 2016, scoring the opening goal in the sensational 2-0 victory over Ukraine in Lyon.

But the Larne lad has never experienced European club action at the highest level and he admits the prospect of playing for Rangers in the group stages of the Europa League against Villarreal, Spartak Moscow and Rapid Vienna is something that excites him in the latter stages of his career.

"It's massive for me personally as my family support the club along with myself," admitted McAuley, who will battle with Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic and new signing Joe Worrall for a place in Gerrard's team.

"The street I was born on, the kerbs are painted red, white and blue so to get the opportunity to play for this famous club is amazing.

"I'm delighted to be here. I feel very honoured to be here and privileged as well.

"I have been here on a European night and the atmosphere is fantastic and electric, and it will be something I really look forward to," said McAuley, who will return to the Northern Ireland camp today ahead of upcoming international matches against Bosnia and Israel.

"I feel there is a chance to win things here and a chance to be a part of something special."

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