Rangers were one of the clubs who were looking to sign Royal Antwerp’s Manuel Benson this summer. 

Reports coming out of Belgium in May talked about Steven Gerrard’s side having a ‘concrete interest’ in the winger. 

Het Nieuwsblad have interviewed the 23-year-old and asked him if there were clubs who came forward to acquire his services in the ongoing window. 

He said: “Yes, there were a few clubs interested, because I finished quite positively last season. I then played a few games in a row, and only then did I fully enjoy myself. Too bad the play-offs were canceled.

“But at the beginning of this season it didn’t work out again and I spoke to the management. I told them: ‘I’ve never felt better in a club. I’m really comfortable and wouldn’t want to go anywhere else’. Only the playing minutes are missing.”

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“And I would rather play at a smaller club than sit on the bench at a big club. Really: I wouldn’t be ashamed to take three steps back and then come back stronger.” 

“But the [club’s] management were fairly clear: At the moment you cannot leave. So I put a thought of leaving out of my mind.”

The Belgian newspaper specifically asked him about the interest from Rangers and suggested a move to Ibrox Stadium wouldn’t have been a step back in career. 

Responding to that, Benson said: “No, no, that’s true. And the competition would be fierce there too.

“There are not many players with my profile who broke through in Belgium. And when I look at friends who did well abroad, such as Wanderson and Bongonda…”

Benson can operate on either wing, and he decided against responding to Rangers’ interest because of the tough competition at the Scottish club. 

Even if the attacker was open to the idea of joining Rangers, a deal wouldn’t have been possible because Antwerp weren’t willing to let him leave in the ongoing window. 

Benson joined Antwerp in 2019, and he finished his last season at Genk with six goals and nine assists in all competitions.

However, he couldn’t replicate his fine Genk form at Antwerp as he finished the previous campaign with a goal and two assists.