June 14, 2018 / 7:05 AM / 5 months ago

Soccer - Goldson swayed by Gerrard to make Rangers switch

Britain Football Soccer - Brighton & Hove Albion v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship - The American Express Community Stadium - 24/1/17 Brighton's Connor Goldson Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Peter Cziborra Livepic

(Reuters) - The prospect of working with Liverpool great Steven Gerrard was a major factor in Connor Goldson agreeing to become Rangers’ sixth signing of the summer, the former Brighton & Hove Albion defender has said.

The 25-year-old, who had a heart operation early last year that saw him sidelined until December, had signed a four-year deal, the club said, with local media reporting a transfer fee of around 3 million pounds.

Goldson is the second central defender signed by the Scottish side this week after they paid a reported 2 million pounds for Nikola Katic from Croatia’s Slaven Belupo on Tuesday.

Gerrard has already signed Scott Arfield, Allan McGregor and Jamie Murphy and brought in Liverpool’s Ovie Ejaria on loan as Rangers look to put an end to an era of dominance by city rivals Celtic, who won their seventh consecutive league title and completed an unprecedented double-treble last season.

“Steven Gerrard had a massive influence on my decision to sign,” Goldson said. “When he first spoke to me I didn’t really know what I was doing, there were a few clubs interested in me in the Championship and I didn’t really know what to do.”

A Liverpool fan growing up, Goldson said he was aware of the scale of the task at Rangers, who finished third in the Premiership for the second straight year since returning to the top flight in 2016.

The Glasgow club have won a record 54 league titles but are struggling to recover from the financial problems that saw them reformed in the bottom tier of Scottish football in 2012.

“We have a lot of work to do this season, we want to improve the team and we want to see how far we can go,” he said, adding that he expected to develop under Gerrard.

“Now he is my manager and I want to be able to learn off him as a coach and as a manager. I don’t really think there is going to be time for me to be star struck and be in awe of him.”

Writing by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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