It is starting to appear that Ridvan Yilmaz’ appearances for Rangers in recent times were a shop window experiment, as the Turkish international reportedly arrived in Verona to sign for Hellas, as claimed by Sky Sport Italy’s Gianluca Di Marzio.
The £6M-rated ex-Besiktas left back massively impressed against Celtic and Kilmarnock, and won Rangers fans over en-masse, but if the recent claims from the Italian journo are true, it was just the shop window and Ridvan’s plan last year to leave Rangers didn’t change.
Of course, winning his first silverware with the club didn’t hurt, as he starred in Rangers’ League Cup triumph, which did lead fans to think Yilmaz was becoming a starter.
But it appears his Rangers adventure, which didn’t go very well in all honesty, is over, and he will put pen to paper to join Hellas.
As for Josh Doig – yes, this might be a straight swap, with the Scotland international coming the other way, but that’s speculation at this point.
The fact is Hellas were interested in both Yilmaz and Croat team mate Borna Barisic, and while Barisic still seeks a new challenge, it’s Yilmaz the Italians appear to have plumped for and he will get some new scenery.
The understanding really is that Yilmaz misses home, and with Italy not being overly far from Turkey, he feels he’d be happy going there, having essentially lost 18+ months of his career at Ibrox.
Former manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst did speak of culture shock and language barriers for Yilmaz, who was out of Turkey for the first time, whereas Italy would feel a bit more palatable to him.
But we’ll find out soon if this deal is truly real and Ridvan is a goner.