RUSSELL MARTIN has told Connor Goldson he will be joining a “huge” club if he ends up leaving Albion for Glasgow Rangers.

The Scots have already had two bids rejected for the unsettled central defender.

They remain some way off the Seagulls’ valuation but are expected to continue their pursuit of the 25-year-old.

Brighton-born Martin, who has just ended a loan spell with Rangers from Norwich, told The Argus: “I don’t think anything can prepare you for it. It’s huge.

“You’ve got an idea but it’s only when you go up there that you realise how big it is. Just walking around the streets, it’s a giant of a football club with a great fanbase.

“For me it was a bit wrong place, wrong time. The club was a bit all over the place and then a change of manager, who was an interim manager anyway (Graeme Murty).

“But I loved playing for a football club of that size and that support. I think the level is different. The top four, Aberdeen, Hibs, Rangers and Celtic, with Kilmarnock and Hearts just floating outside of them, are a really good level, easily Championship level those four.

“After that it’s a different standard to the Premier League and Championship. Every team, especially playing for Rangers or Celtic, it’s a cup final every game, teams are desperate to beat you so you have to cope with that pressure and expectancy.

“It will certainly be different for him. I guess for Connor at this stage of his career it will be for him to decide whether he wants to go up the road and compete to win things or whether he has got a burning desire to stay here and try to get back in the Premier League and play in the Championship regularly.

“That will be his decision but it is some football club. If anyone asked me would you sign there I’d always recommend doing it. It’s got everything there, it’s just waiting for lift-off.

“They’ve had a tough four or five years but they are slowly steadying the ship and turning it around.”

Martin believes the appointment of Steven Gerrard as manager will also aid Rangers in recruiting players like Goldson, a Liverpool fan.

“It certainly helps attract players,” Martin said. “They will want to work with someone of his experience and magnitude in the game. Trying to sign players in their prime like Connor, who has done a good job at Brighton, at that level and on big wages as well, then having his name there certainly helps.”

Martin’s own future is up in the air after nine-and-a-half-years at Norwich. The 32-year-old defender does not feature in the plans of Carrow Road chief Daniel Farke.

“I really don’t know at the moment,” he said. “I’ve got a year left at Norwich but I had to go on loan last season because I wasn’t in the manager’s plans. There was no real fallout.

“He wants to go with youth and doesn’t want players over 30, so I was told. I think I’ll have to go somewhere else to play my football, so I’ll consider all options.”

The 3G pitch at Hove Park, which will be the HQ for Martin’s thriving Foundation, was officially opened yesterday.

He said: “We will be using it for a lot of our sessions and hiring it out for the community. It gives us a base to expand.

“It’s something I’m really proud of (Foundation). I didn’t see it growing this quickly. We’ve put six or seven lads into pro clubs. Obviously Brighton now, being in the Premier League, it becomes more difficult for local lads, and Crawley haven’t got an academy.

“We have helped a few of the better players, although that wasn’t the main reason we set it up. It’s all about inclusivity.”