Jelavic wants Rapid to lose

Former Rapid Vienna star Nikica Jelavic has revealed he wants his ex-teammates to lose their crucial UEFA Europa League qualifier against Aston Villa tonight (Thurs)The Croat told Scottish media today: “I have to hope that my old team loses, but this is football.”Jelavic, 24, stressed that Villa must knock out the 32-time Austria league champions for him to be eligible to play for Glasgow Rangers in this season’s UEFA Champions League.The national team ace performed for Rapid against Lithuanian cup winners FK Sūduva Marijampolė and PFC Beroe Stara Zagora from Bulgaria – before telling club bosses on the morning of last week’s first leg against Villa (1-1) he did not want to perform for Rapid ever again.Jelavic is understood to having enforced his departure through that statement, branded a “slap in the face of thousands of Rapid fans” by Rudolf Edlinger, the club’s president.”Someone making such a statement is wrong at his club,” Edlinger fumed.Five-million-Euro striker Jelavic said today: “It was a difficult situation in the build-up to the Aston Villa game. They (Rapid) said some things that weren’t true, but I don’t want to discuss it. It is behind me.”Jelavic, who joined Rapid for less than half a million Euros from Belgian side Zulte Waregem in 2008, scored for Rapid twice when they sensationally kicked out Villa at the same stage of last season’s Europa League.”I’ll be very interested to see what happens at Villa Park,” he said, adding that he was “totally focused on Rangers” after having “too much stress in my head”.Jelavic – who is expected to get a work permit for Scotland shortly – said: “I want to win trophies with Rangers, play well in the Champions League and score many goals for this club.”Meanwhile, Austrian sports press claim Rapid have set their sights on former Celtic Glasgow star Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.The 31-year-old Dutch striker is a free agent after Hull City did not extend his contract after a doomed season.Hannover 96 striker Mikael Forssell is also rumoured to be of interest to Rapid’s executive manager Alfred Hörtnagl, who is pressed to act before the summer transfer window shuts on Tuesday (31 August).Rapid are reportedly ready to invest most of the money raked in by selling Jelavic after having been infamously reluctant to spend large sums on players for years.Club bosses reportedly fear a fan revolt if they put all of the Jelavic transfer earnings in the bank instead of splashing a decent part of them on at least one addition to the current squad.Rapid allowed some of their best players – including midfielder Ümit Korkmaz and strikers Erwin Hoffer and Stefan Maierhofer – to leave in previous summer transfer periods while giving several young talents the chance to perform at top-flight level.The Austrian Bundesliga table after five rounds:SV Ried, 12 pointsWacker Innsbruck, 10Rapid Vienna, 9Austria Vienna, 8Kapfenberg, 8Sturm Graz, 7Magna Wiener Neustadt, 7Red Bull Salzburg, 4LASK Linz, 0SV Mattersburg, 0