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Arthur Numan moved to Rangers in 1998 from his captain's post at the Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven. Speaking on STV's The Football Years, Numan reveals that he was alerted to Rangers' interest well before he decided to join the team in circumstances that may not endear himself, or Dick Advocaat, to the PSV Eindhoven fans.
The well-respected Numan was playing regularly for his national side when the then PSV Eindhoven manager, Dick Advocaat, approached his star left-back with a proposition that stunned him.
"It must have been 1998, somewhere in March, I was still playing for PSV and I still remember the day when Dick Advocaat came to me on the training ground," recalled Numan. "I knew that he went to see the [Rangers] chairman, David Murray, a couple of weeks before and he told me in private and he asked me, 'I'm probably leaving at the end of the season for Glasgow Rangers - are you interested in joining me?'
"I was a little bit surprised because I didn't expect it and then I thought this is maybe an opportunity for me to go abroad, I was 28 years at that time and I knew that in the summer time, I had to go to the World Cup in France and I thought '28 years old, it's maybe time for me to go abroad' and I thought that if I was interested, that was all he wanted to know so it was very short, I said yes and he said OK."
There has been a lot of controversy over players being 'tapped up' in recent years and attempting to persuade a player under contract to transfer to their team without the knowledge or permission of that player's current team. What Numan describes appears to be a classic case, and one in which Dick Advocaat knew had to be kept quiet.
"He [Advocaat] said keep it in front of you because nobody else knows and I don't want people to find out. He was the manager of PSV and I was the captain of PSV and if that had come out then it would have been big trouble for both of us."
Despite being on a lengthy contract at PSV Eindhoven, Numan had his sights set on playing abroad. "I didn't know if it would happen because the season before I extended my contract with PSV for another four years so that would be a big problem, the money that another club has to pay and also the fact Advocaat said I can only approach you, Rangers can only approach PSV if another club comes in for you.
"All I had to do was play well for PSV and wait for other clubs to show interest and I knew they would come because I was playing well and had played well for the national team."
Needless to say, the talented Dutchman did indeed attract interest from abroad and it was a Spanish team that first contacted PSV Eindhoven about the left-back.
"There were clubs interested in England and Spain and eventually Atletico Madrid made an approach and wanted me to come for negotiations about the fee and the contract, so I told the club and they weren't happy as you can imagine. The moment I went to Spain was when Glasgow Rangers could approach PSV."
Soon after Numan went to Spain, Numan was flown to Scotland to speak directly with Rangers chairman David Murray about a move to the Scotland and the chance to reunite with Advocaat.
"We went to Murray's house, we sat down and of course he said, 'would you like to join and sign for Rangers?' I said yes otherwise I wouldn't be here and he was straightforward.
"I was really surprised because he knew a lot about me as a player about my quality so he did his homework really well, I was really impressed.
"So he said 'I'd like to offer you a four year deal and the money I offer is good,' so I was really surprised - it was very quickly done and dusted."