Rangers are reportedly said to be close to completing a permanent deal for Romanian International Ianis Hagi despite facing stiff competition from a number of high profile clubs like Lazio and Tottenham.
Ianis, who is the son of legendary Romanian Gheorghe Hagi, has impressed since arriving on loan from Genk in January and has quickly become a fan favourite at the club due to his impressive Europa League displays and a late winner against Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership.
Hagi’s greatest moment for the Ibrox club was his brace in the 3-2 comeback win over Braga propelling Rangers to the next round in a clash against Bayern Leverkusen in the round of 16.
Ianis Hagi had joined on a loan-to-buy deal from the Belgian side until the end of the season, giving Rangers an option to make the transfer permanent in the summer and now according to reports talks are progressing well during the break in play to secure the player who is highly regarded by Steven Gerrard.
The clause in his loan-to-buy agreement with Genk allows Rangers to buy him for £4.5 million at the end of the season and it seems that is something the club and his entourage are working on activating.
Ianis Hagi has been a sort of revelation for the Teddy Bears since arriving on loan from Genk in January and seems like the ideal kind of player for Steven Gerrard to build a team around. The £4.5 million outlay being touted here is quite a significant one for the light blues and would make this one of the top 10 biggest fees paid by Rangers in the club’s history.
Clearly not a decision that they would be taking lightly and one that has been merited for sure. Ianis Hagi already has three goals, plus two assists, from 12 Rangers games during his time here and indications are that he could be a star in the making.
Previously Gerrard had spoken on the impact Ianis Hagi had made at the club and had urged him to keep proving himself to merit a permanent deal and it seems his mind has been made up now. Speaking about his future, Steven Gerrard said :
“We don’t have to push the ball to get it rolling on Hagi just yet. We’ve got time.
He’s had a strong impact and we’re delighted with him on and off the pitch.
He’s professional, a student of the game and has quickly picked up how we want to play.
People talk about the assists and goals but positionally he’s clever.
His work-rate, his attitude – he has ticked every box.
It’s a fantastic position to be in, knowing we have first option on him. But I don’t have to make a decision now.
Does he have to maintain this level of performance?
All the players do if they want to stay.”
With hit man Alfredo Morelos possibly on his way out, building a team that fits the managers vision and implements his ideas on the pitch effectively will be crucial for Gerrard and a player of Ianis Hagi’s calibre will be crucial to that. Moreover being likened to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at his age doesn’t hurt a players case and that is what probably tipped Gerrard’s decision to sign him on permanently.
The attacker is currently at home in Romania during the coronavirus outbreak as Scottish football remains suspended since last month due to the coronavirus pandemic with clubs awaiting news of when they call back their players to resume training once the health crisis subsides.