Liam Kelly in brutally honest Rangers transfer confession as he throws down gauntlet to Jack Butland

New recruit Liam Kelly has pledged to "push" Jack Butland for the No. 1 spot at Rangers in the coming season as he lifted the lid on his surprise behind the call to return to Ibrox.

The Scotland international came through the Ibrox academy before leaving the club in 2018 for Livingston on a permanent deal in 2018 after loan spells at East Fife and the Lions. His form at Almondvale would see Mark Warburton take him to Queens Park Rangers before a return to the Scottish Premiership with Motherwell - where he would go on to become captain.

After returning from Euro 2024, the 28-year-old is once again a Rangers player - and confessed he was surprised to get the call from the Light Blues following the end of his Fir Park deal. Asked about his reaction to Rangers approach, he told RTV: "Probably a bit of disbelief. You always have faith that you can play at the top level and I back myself to be here.

"I am obviously joining a really talent group of players and a really talented group of goalkeepers as well. So, I am excited to join that and see what can happen over the next couple of years."

And his insists ramping up the pressure on England cap Butland after his impressive first season in Govan is his main goal. Kelly said: "I want to push the goalkeepers that are here.

"I know Jack had an unbelievable season last year, I played against him and he was probably the best goalkeeper in the league last year. I am aware of that, so hopefully I can push him on even further and that will bring benefits to the team anyway."

During his 14 years at Rangers, Kelly climbed through the academy ranks but failed to make a first-team appearance for the club. He insists he is now ready when Philippe Clement gives him the call between the sticks.

Pressed on his first spell at Ibrox, honest Kelly said: "I was here for a long time, and I probably wasn't quite ready to play when I left the last time. It was definitely the right decision to leave, I am a much better goalkeeper now than when I left. I am better for that.

"I had successful time, won a lot of youth trophies and progressed into the first-team and went to get some game time. I know the league really well now and have shown I can play at that level, so hopefully I can have a positive impact on the group."