Ray Parlour has revealed that Rangers once made an approach for him when he was a teenager at Arsenal but George Graham kept it secret.
Parlour claims that Rangers manager at the time, Walter Smith, wanted to sign him while he was just a teenager rising through the ranks at Arsenal. However, Graham kept the approach secret just in case the young midfielder decided to leave for a potentially more lucrative deal in Scotland.
“I’ve been out with Walter Smith and he told me ‘look, I tried to sign you when you were a youngster’,” the 44-year-old told the Sun (via Mirror).
“George Graham didn’t tell me though obviously because I would have gone for a new contract at Arsenal.
“I was very happy to stay at Arsenal at the time, I would definitely have negotiated a new contract though and got more money out of Graham.”
Walter Smith was Rangers boss between 1991 – 1998, which means that Parlour was either just about to break into the first team or already had when he asked about signing him.
The England international made his competitive debut against Liverpool in January 1992 and was at the club from 1989 to 2004 when he signed for Middlesbrough. He made 339 league appearances with the Gunners, scoring 32 goals.
‘The Romford Pele’ has gone down as an Arsenal legend after winning the Premier League three times, the FA Cup four, the League Cup once and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1994. He even made 25 Premier League appearances during the Gunners’ Invincible season.
After joining Boro, Parlour signed for Hull City three years later but was released after one season. He soon retired from football in 2007 but five years later played for Wembley FC, along with several other footballing legends, such as Martin Keown and David Seaman, during their FA Cup campaign in 2012.