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Ex-Celtic boss Strachan: I urged Chelsea midfielder Gilmour to stay with Rangers

Former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan has recalled urging Billy Gilmour to stay with Rangers,

The midfielder left Ibrox for Chelsea as a 16 year-old and is now part of Scotland's Euro 2020 squad. The Blues midfielder didn't get off the bench for yesterday's opening game defeat to the Czech Republic at Hampden Park.

Strachan admits when Chelsea were pushing to sign Gilmour in 2017 he was asked to speak with the teen. Both Rangers and Scottish FA officials were concerned with Gilmour's plans to move south and to Chelsea's academy.

Quoted by Fotboll Transfers, Strachan told Goal: "Everyone asked me to talk to him to keep him in Scotland. I had that call and it did not work! I remember meeting him at Hampden too and he was just a small, skinny boy, but he was determined to follow his own path, not what the coach told him. He was around 15, 'I'm on my way to Chelsea'."

Strachan also revealed he was in a similar position at the same age as Gilmour was - but instead of moving south, the former midfielder decided to remain in Scotland.

He recalled: "It can be scary. I had a chance to go to Manchester United as a young boy and I went to Dundee at 16. Luckily I got the chance again as a man. If you look at it, you can get to the top in many different ways. It is up to you how you do it."

Indeed, Strachan would eventually move to Manchester United via Aberdeen, where he would become an FA Cup winner.

- updated June 15

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