Hately questions Miller Italy move

Former Rangers and Milan striker Mark Hateley feels Kenny Miller could struggle to enjoy life in the defensive-minded Serie A if he swaps Ibrox for Florence.

Former Rangers and Milan striker Mark Hateley feels Kenny Miller could struggle to enjoy life in the defensive-minded Serie A if he swaps Ibrox for Florence.

Miller has been holding talks with Fiorentina this week over a January transfer or pre-contract deal after the Italian club moved quickly when Birmingham had a bid for his services accepted by Rangers on Friday.

The 31-year-old is expected to opt for Tuscany ahead of the west midlands and former Coventry striker Hateley can understand the attraction.

Hateley said: “I can indeed – the location, the weather, the number of games, the financial package, although it’s not all about the financial because Kenny could go elsewhere for bigger rewards.

“But I think it could be difficult for Kenny playing in that league. ”It’s well-documented that it’s a lot slower with tougher defenders.

“The game has changed since I played there. We had the three-foreigner rule so it was a majority of Italian players and Italian defenders were probably the toughest to play against.

“As we’ve seen at international level, Italy aren’t of that ilk any more.

“So it might be a little bit easier but there’s still not a lot of space to run behind defenders and that’s where Kenny makes his name.”

Miller has had difficult spells in the bottom rungs of the English top flight with Wolves and Derby but Hateley is surprised he apparently does not want another opportunity after hitting 22 goals for Rangers this season.

“If I was Kenny I would have still tried to have a go at the Premier League,” Hateley said. “I think it’s the best football in the world, the toughest league in the world.

“And, having been there before and not really hit the heights you would have expected to hit, I would want one more go at it.

“Especially with the experience that Kenny’s got now and on the back of two great seasons of scoring goals.”

Miller’s potential departure will undoubtedly make Walter Smith’s task of winning a third successive Clydesdale Bank Premier League title more difficult, but Hateley believes Rangers will quickly adapt.

“There is no one player bigger than Rangers Football Club and there never will be,” he said.

“They said this when Kris Boyd left. Someone always comes forward and Kenny was that man. Somebody else will come forward.

“(Nikica) Jelavic is coming back from injury, we’ve seen what a good player he is in his infancy at Rangers.

“We’ve seen bits and bobs of Kyle Lafferty. he is still to hit his full potential but we know he has got it. It’s just about getting it out of him consistently.

“James Beattie has not set any heather alight yet but he is a big personality and he’s a top player.”

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