Connor Goldson insists his love of winning was the main reason he decided to pledge his future to Rangers for the next four years.
The 29-year-old looked to be on his way out of Ibrox, with his initial deal expiring this summer amid interest from England, including newly-promoted Premier League side Nottingham Forest.
Even manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst admitted recently that there was only a “small” chance the influential defender would still be at Rangers next season.
However, the Ibrox club stunned their supporters on Wednesday when they released a tweet out of the blue revealing that Goldson, who joined from Brighton in 2018, had signed a new deal until 2026.
The Englishman explained that the main reason for opting to stay with Rangers was that he had grown accustomed to winning matches regularly and wanted to try to experience more glory after helping the club win their 55th league title a year ago.
“Everybody knows I had a decision to make,” Goldson told Rangers TV on Wednesday. “I went away with my family last week and we made the decision to stay here. We’re all settled here. My family’s settled here and football-wise I’m happy. I just thought this was the right decision to make.
“I’ve got used to winning games most weeks and I love that feeling. I want to keep on winning and I want to keep on trying to take this club to the next level.
“I said last year I wanted to stay and try and win (title number) 56 and 57, and that was a massive part of me committing to this football club. I spoke to (sporting director) Ross Wilson and the manager yesterday and said I wanted to do it (sign a new deal).
“I want to stay here and try and win – that’s the main reason for me staying.”
Goldson played more minutes for Rangers in the season just finished than any other player and helped them to the Europa League final, where they were beaten on penalties by Eintracht Frankfurt. In total, he has scored 20 goals in 223 appearances for the club.
Van Bronckhorst hailed the influence of the centre-back in the Rangers dressing room as he welcomed his surprise decision to commit his future to the Gers.
“I am delighted Connor has agreed to remain a Rangers player, as he has been fantastic for me both on and off the pitch since I arrived,” Van Bronckhorst said.
“His leadership is outstanding, and he is a huge influence on so many players around him, while his consistency of performance means he is someone I can always rely on.
“I am really looking forward to seeing Connor back for pre-season in a couple of weeks and to working with him again next year.”
Swiss striker Cedric Itten, meanwhile, has left Rangers and returned to his homeland to join Young Boys for an undisclosed fee.
The 25-year-old signed for the Ibrox club on a four-year contract in the summer of 2020 but has been allowed to depart after being unable to command a regular starting place.
Itten, who scored nine goals in 49 appearances for Rangers, spent the first half of last season on loan at German club Greuther Furth and has now left Govan on a permanent basis.