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Old pals’ act with Uncle Barry helped former Rangers star Marco Negri play a part in Lewis Ferguson’s Serie A move

© SNS GroupBarry Ferguson and Marco Negri during their time together at Rangers
Barry Ferguson and Marco Negri during their time together at Rangers

Former Rangers striker, Marco Negri, believes he can claim an assist in Lewis Ferguson’s £3-million transfer from Aberdeen to Bologna.

He remains friends with Ferguson’s uncle, Barry, from their time together at Ibrox and was happy to offer advice about moving to Serie A .

“Thanks to the family he comes from, Lewis is a player I know very well,” said Negri.

“So when one of my former clubs, Cagliari, were trying to sign him earlier this year, Barry contacted me for my opinion on their interest.

“I was able to tell him a little about the club, and the environment Lewis would be going into.

“But I also added that the perfect place for him to go would be Bologna, where, of course, he has now gone!

“I recommended them because they are a club who are really good at helping young players grow.

“They give kids a real chance to reach their full potential, which, of course, we have seen with Aaron Hickey.”

Having paid just £1.5m to bring in Hickey from Hearts in September, 2020, the Italians were delighted with the profit returned on the Scot’s move to Brentford in a deal that should eventually reach £18m.

However, while Negri, now a football pundit in his homeland, expects both Ferguson and Josh Doig – who has joined Verona from Hibs – to succeed, he warns against using those deals as a benchmark.

“I am pleased to see the Scottish contingent in Italy starting to grow,” said the 51-year-old.

“It is something I actually expected because making the switch between the two countries is now quite easy.

“In the past, there was a big gap, but now we can see that is no longer the case with the Scottish Premiership clearly improving.

“The two players have a new adventure in front of them, and I have sent a message to Lewis wishing him all the best with it.

“I do not know so much about Doig, but I do believe Verona is also another great choice for young players who wish to grow.

“Both clubs allow those who are still developing the room to make a few mistakes, without repercussions.

“That is important because there are other places here where the opposite is the case!

“My advice for them is to not be in a hurry to prove themselves right away.

“Instead, they should stay calm, and take time to assess their new environment. Those arriving in Italy from another league always need at least six months to settle in.

“And, in Lewis’ case, I think it is important the fans are patient, and do not make comparisons with Hickey.”