If a report from Romanian outlet Sport.ro (as quoted by Football Scotland) is believed to be true, Rangers are set to reject Galatasaray’s approach for Ianis Hagi ahead of the upcoming summer window. The Turkish side have tabled a bid of around £6m, but the midfield attacker remains in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s plans in the long run.
The Romania international, son of the legendary Gheorghe Hagi, suffered an ACL rupture that ruled him out since January.
He was vital to the Gers’ resurgence under Steven Gerrard, thanks to his versatility that saw him slotting in both as a ‘number 10’ and wide attacker. The Dutchman, who succeeded Gerrard as the new Ibrox chief, mainly deployed the 23-year-old down the wing.
Hagi, meanwhile, is working towards regaining fitness to get ready for pre-season. Although he expressed his desire to follow his father’s footsteps and represent Galatasaray at some point in his career, a move right seems unlikely after finding his feet at Rangers.
Born in Istanbul during the twilight of Gheorghe’s playing days at Galatasaray, Ianis began his football journey with Steaua București at the age of 9. But he joined his father’s academy a year later before making his senior debut for Viitorul Constanța in the top flight of Romanian football. Hagi’s emergence grabbed the attention of Fiorentina, but the lack of minutes in Serie A eventually saw him returning to Constanța one-and-a-half years later.
His next venture was in Belgium with Genk three years ago. But he left for Rangers six months later as the Scottish side initially roped him on loan for the remainder of the season. The Light Blues made the deal permanent a couple of summers back, and the youngster has featured ever since until the injury setback.
Why Rangers Must Keep Hold Of Hagi
The Gers, meanwhile, require a playmaker capable of offering his creative spark from the centre of the pitch. They also need stability down the right similar to Ryan Kent’s presence on the other flank. Scott Wright and Scott Arfield have been tried out in that role, but the pair failed to cement a starting status despite being rotated extensively in recent months.
Aribo, on the other hand, played as an attacking midfielder in Van Bronckhorst’s 4-2-3-1. The Nigerian did his best to fit in various roles, including a ‘False 9’ in the Europa League final. Still, this makeshift utilisation limits his attributes that he has already proved his worth already as a ‘number 8’. Hagi’s return, therefore, would resolve many problems in and around the attacking third.