STEVEN PRESSLEY has revealed how a deal to join Rangers fell through at the last minute which paved the way for him to join Glasgow rivals Celtic instead.

The former Rangers, Hearts, Celtic and Falkirk star was being chased by three clubs when he opted to leave Tynecastle in 2006 - Rangers, Charlton and Celtic after spending eight years with the Capital club.

The 27 times capped Scotland defender admits that a meeting with Rangers chairman David Murray was scrapped because the club was embroiled in a dispute with then Light Blues manager Frenchman Paul Le Guen which would eventually lead to his sacking.

Le Guen's dismissal scuppered any chances of a return to Ibrox for the Elgin-born stopper.

Pressley also reckons that it was the persuasive tongue of Celtic boss Gordon Strachan as well as family issues that made him reject a move to the English Premier League with Charlton and sign on the dotted line for Celtic in an 18-month deal.

Pressley who made Scottish football history at Celtic when he became the first man to lift the Scottish Cup with three different teams - Rangers, Hearts and Celtic - said: "The truth of the matter was that when I left Hearts, I had a number of options to sign for three different clubs.

"One was Charlton who was in the English Premier League at the time.

"One was Rangers during the Paul Le Guen era.

"The other club was Celtic.

"The Rangers deal actually fell through.

"I was scheduled to meet David Murray up in Perth for signing talks.

"The meeting ended up getting cancelled on the back of a situation that had developed with then Rangers manager Paul Le Guen which resulted in him leaving the club.

"I met with Gordon Strachan at Celtic and they made me an offer.

"I then travelled down to London to speak to Charlton and I had gone through all aspects of the medical and everything had been agreed in principle and I was all set to become an English Premier League player.

"On the way up the road, Gordon phoned me again and I explained the situation to him and that Charlton had offered me considerably more money than Celtic.

"He told me to wait and not commit to anything and he would come back to me within the hour which he did.

"Celtic came back with an improved offer that matched that of Charlton's.

"Gordon Strachan is a very persuasive man.

"Ideally, I wanted to go to the English Premier League but I spoke at length to my wife and we had just had our second child and we had moved into a new house which was closer to his mother's and she was keen on staying there.

"That really was the reason why I chose Celtic at the time."

Pressley has never once regretted making the career move to join Celtic and crossing the Glasgow divide.

He said:  "It made sense to my family at the time and it is a choice that I certainly do not regret.

"I am delighted that I did it.

"I loved being there and it is amazing to look back on.

"I would not change it and I would do it again if I got the chance.

"I appreciated it a lot more because I was older.

"I was 33 when I arrived at Celtic.

"I ​appreciated how lucky I was to be signing for a club at Celtic at my age.

"It was a really enjoyable 18 months in my career.

"Celtic was a great club to be at and I would have loved to have spent longer at it.

"I wish I had arrived sooner rather than at the tail end of my career."