Nikica Jelavic was a major hit at Rangers, but the Croatian striker has revealed the move began as a joke between him and Sasa Papac.

Jelavic was brought to Ibrox from Rapid Vienna for £4m by Walter Smith in 2010, and would go on to score 36 goals in 56 games for the club.

He left for Everton in 2012 having won a Scottish Premier League title and League Cup, and remains a popular figure among Rangers supporters.

Jelavic told The Athletic that his move to Glasgow began with a joke between him and Bosnian left-back Papac.

He said: “It started as a joke. Sasa Papac said, ‘We need a striker’, so I told him to get the club to watch me.

"He told someone at the club as a joke, but they watched the game against Celtic (Rapid Vienna's 3-3 Europa League draw with Tony Mowbray's side in December 2009).

"I scored two goals and had a great game so they kept on following me and that’s how the contact happened.”

Jelavic takes issue with Rapid president Rudolf Edlinger's claim that he was only allowed to leave the club because he refused to play.

He said: “How could I do that if they didn’t want to sell me? I don’t want to go back and blame someone or play this trash talk, but if the club aren’t ready to let you go you cannot argue with them.

“If you refuse to play a game then they will put you aside, fine you and not sell you at all, so this story is bull***t. I refuse to allow the president back then to steal all my good memories from the two years I had there.”