Nigerian defender Leon Balogun says he thought his agent was having him on when he let him know that Rangers were interested in securing his services for a second stint at Ibrox.
Balogun first joined Rangers in 2020, racking up 65 appearances for the Light Blues as they won a Scottish Premiership title and trudged on to a Europa League final in his two years at the club.
A return to England under Michael Beale followed, though with the Englishman upping sticks for a move back to Ibrox, Balogun was left in the dark over his future – and with his contract up at the end of the season, he was launched back onto the proverbial transfer scrapheap.
But an injury to Leon King saw a gap open in the market for the Light Blues boss, and with a short-term deal preferred given their preference to nurture King following his injury lay-off, a move for Balogun was ratified by bosses in Govan.
It’s a move that will still likely see the German-born star not feature too much with Connor Goldson, Ben Davies and John Souttar ahead of him, but Balogun still saw the funny side – at least on his part, where he thought his agent was on the wind-up.
Balogun said: “I actually didn’t expect it. It was just one evening and my agent text me, it was quite funny. He lined it up a bit like, ‘Yeah, would you consider going somewhere else?’ and I was like ‘Well, where, what’s the deal?’. He said ‘Yeah, I’m not sure, it’s a bit of a smaller club’ and I was like how small? Where are we talking about?’
“My gut feeling told me maybe because we have a really good relationship, that he was maybe trying to wind me up. And he goes, ‘Ah, only the wee Glasgow Rangers’ and I said no, this is not real, you’re joking.
“He said, ‘No, what do you think?’ I said ‘Look, because it was quite late, I’m tired, age is catching up, my eyes are falling down, I can’t keep them up, I need to sleep a night on this and if it’s still there then I can believe you. And as I put my phone down a message still came through and just said ‘It’s real’.
“Then I struggled to fall asleep that night a little bit. Then my decision was made, my instant decision was clear.”