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Page last updated at 21:10 GMT, Thursday, 26 August 2010 22:10 UK

Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic to miss Champions League

Rapid Vienna players Mario Sonnleitner and Atdhe Nuhiu
Rapid won 3-2 at Villa Park to complete a 4-3 aggregate win

Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic will not play in this season's Champions League after his former club Rapid Vienna reached the Europa League group stages.

The Austrian side's 4-3 aggregate victory over Aston Villa makes the Croat ineligible for his new club.

Jelavic had played in an earlier round of the Europa League for Rapid.

However, the granting of a work permit means the 24-year-old could make his Rangers debut in Saturday's league game against St Johnstone.

There had been confusion last week when Uefa indicated that Rangers' new £4m signing could play in the Champions League no matter who won Villa's Europa League qualifier.

But Rangers' initial fears were later confirmed and manager Walter Smith said the Ibrox side were looking for a "favour" from Villa.

There is more involved than just the Champions League, but that's a big part for any player

Rangers manager Walter Smith

"It would be a disappointment for him, I don't think there is any doubt about that," said the Rangers boss last week.

"There is more involved than just the Champions League, but that's a big part for any player."

It was only after Jelavic refused to play for Rapid's first leg draw with Villa that the Austrian club returned to the negotiating table.

After weeks of talks failed to reach a conclusion, they had wanted the striker to play against the English club.

Scottish champions Rangers have been drawn in Champions League Group C with top seeds Manchester United, Spanish side Valencia and Turkey's Bursaspor.

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see also
Aston Villa 2-3 Rapid V (agg 3-4)
26 Aug 10 |  Europe
Tottenham face Inter Milan test
26 Aug 10 |  Europe
Green light for Rangers' Jelavic
26 Aug 10 |  Rangers
Jelavic aims to emulate Dado Prso
21 Aug 10 |  Rangers
Gers sign Rapid's Jelavic for 4m
20 Aug 10 |  Rangers
Uefa may act over Guzan barrage
20 Aug 10 |  Aston Villa
Rapid Vienna 1-1 Aston Villa
19 Aug 10 |  Europe

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