John Hartson has sensationally claimed that Rangers and David Murray tried to sign him after the Welsh target man left Celtic in 2006. Hartson, who joined Celtic in 2001 from Coventry City, went on to score 110 goals for the club but he told Go Radio that this didn’t matter to former Rangers chief Murray, who tried to persuade him to cross the rubicon and become a Rangers player.
Rangers tried to sign the player before he joined Celtic with a failed medical stalling the move, opening the door for O’Neill to acquire the powerful striker. Although, Hartson wasn’t willing to sacrifice all he achieved at Celtic for money.
“It was a reporter that mentioned his name to me, he said expect a call from Mr Murray, he’s sought your number out.
“He said ‘Look I’d like to bring you back up to Rangers. We know we made a mistake, we should’ve signed you’.
“I said look with all due respect thank you very much but there was no way, it was never happening. The conversation was a bit of a waste of time really.
“His actual words were, ‘I’m going to stick you in the safe house for the first old firm game,’ but that’s no way to live, it’s not the way I want to live anyway.
“I said, ‘look, one: I would have never been fully accepted by the Rangers fans and secondly just thrown all my 110 goals for Celtic down the river’.”
Hartson has the Celtic badge tattooed on his arm as well as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ underneath. The big striker has a close bond with the club’s support and is fondly remembered as being one of Martin O’Neill’s most trusted lieutenants.
In his time at Celtic Park, the Welshman would leave Paradise with three league titles, two Scottish Cups and one Scottish League Cup.