EXCLUSIVE: Nathan Burns’s stellar showing in the recent Sydney Festival of Football is believed to have sparked a bid by Glasgow Rangers for AEK Athens’ Socceroo striker, say reports.
Burns scored against the 'Gers as AEK went on to win the July tournament which also featured Sydney FC and Blackburn Rovers.
The 22-year-old Aussie’s performance across the three games stood out in an AEK side that caught the eye of many – including Walter Smith.
With Rangers short on strike-power ahead of the new season and the Scottish champions still feeling the loss of goal machine Kris Boyd to Middlesbrough, it’s believed Burns was to be offered a contract, O Kosmos columnists Tony and Xanthie Rallis report.
AEK however rejected the offer with coach Dusan Bajevic hailing Burns’s new-found maturity after a spell in the Greek second division on loan.
Rangers were also linked with Socceroo Brett Holman but have subsequently signed striker James Beattie who became the first player they had bought in two years.
Coincidentally Burns’s AEK play in Scotland on Thursday this week in a Europa League qualifying round first leg tie against Dundee United.
The trip might prove a relief for the players and Bajevic after some disgraceful scenes last week in Greece.
After losing a pre-season friendly 2-1 against second division side Kalithea, the Serbian-born coach was jostled and verbally attacked by a mob of angry fans who invaded the pitch.
Bajevic was then punched to the ground by one before AEK fans then attacked police in scenes caught on film in the video below.
AEK players remained in the tunnel for safety. Burns was not at the game as he was with the Socceroos ahead of the Slovenia friendly.