Rangers chairman Dave King says Hibernian offered Scott Allan to the club, a claim which Hibs reject.
Allan, who has since moved to Celtic, was subject of three failed bids from the Light Blues before his switch to Celtic Park.
The midfielder handed in a transfer request to leave Easter Road after the second Rangers bid was rejected.
However, King claims that it was Hibs who made the early running about a possible move for Allan.
“The way I viewed it differently from Hibs was that the initial approach came from Hibs where they said, ‘we know you are interested, if you do want to do business with Scott Allan let’s do it quite quickly so we know where we stand.’,” King said.
“We proceeded to do it quite quickly so we were surprised with Hibs’ official response that we won’t sell to Rangers under any circumstances whatsoever.
“We initially took that as a negotiating position to increase the price and it was only after another couple rounds of negotiations that we knew they were serious.
“No matter what we did they were not going to sell to us. Therefore I’m very grateful to Celtic from taking him away from Hibs. They did us a favour rather than leaving him behind.”
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster denied King’s claims. She said: “I took the initial call from Rangers. I can confirm that Mr King’s version of events is not correct.”
Meanwhile, King also believes that Rangers will challenge Celtic for the title next season. The Light Blues have made a blistering start to the season in the Championship, winning all five games.
And King feels with a few extra additions they will have enough to compete for the Scottish Premiership title.
“Our ambition next year is to start competing for the title and then be in Europe the following year.
“I think the squad we have at the moment would be more competitive in the Premiership if we were in that division than we would have anticipated at this early stage,” he said.
“But do I think what we have at the moment would compete for the Premiership title, then no. I would say we need another five additions to the existing squad – a minimum of five – before we can compete.
“We understand the gap against Celtic but the ambition is not to come second.”