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Croatia striker Jelavic in Rapid move to Rangers

19 August 2010 16:46

VIENNA (AFP) - Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic is leaving Rapid Vienna for Scottish champions Rangers, the Austrian side announced on Thursday.

The announcement came after Jelavic refused to play for his team in Thursday's Europa League play-off against Aston Villa, according to club president Rudolf Edlinger.

"Against all expectations, Nikica Jelavic said today he no longer wanted to play for Rapid," Edlinger told a press conference.

"That's a shock for the whole Rapid family."

"Anyone who goes through with such a decision has no place here anymore," he added.

Over the past few weeks, Rapid had already turned down several offers from Rangers for the 24-year-old Jelavic, insisting he would play against Aston Villa.

If he had appeared in Thursday's game, the Croatian national would not have been allowed to compete with Rangers in the Champions League.

The Scottish side was said to be paying five million euros (6.4 million dollars) for Jelavic, with a third of the money going to the striker's former club, Belgian side Zulte Waregem, according to Edlinger.

Jelavic had scored 43 goals in 95 games since joining Rapid in 2008.

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