Rangers confident of beating Russians to sign Nikola Katic

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Rangers believe they can fend off Spartak Moscow to land Croatian centre back Nikola Katic.

The Ibrox club have held what sources described as “positive” talks with representatives of 21-year-old Katic.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, pictured at the Toulon Tournament earlier this month, is keen on Croatian defender Nikola Katic. Picture: SNS

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, pictured at the Toulon Tournament earlier this month, is keen on Croatian defender Nikola Katic. Picture: SNS

He is under contract until 2021 with current club Slaven Belupo, who value him at around £2 million.

Katic has earned one cap for Croatia, as a substitute in a friendly against Mexico last year, and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is keen to partner Katic in the centre of defence in his revamped side with Connor Goldson, the 25-year-old Brighton player, who is on the verge of completing his move to Ibrox for a fee in the region of £3m.

Goldson is expected in Glasgow within the next 24 hours to hopefully finalise the transfer ahead of their first team squad’s return to pre-season training under new boss Gerrard on Friday.

Strengthening his options in central defence has been an immediate priority for Gerrard. Rangers lost David Bates to Hamburg under freedom of contract this summer, while Scotland international Russell Martin returned to Norwich City when his loan deal expired.

Uncertainty surrounds the future of Bruno Alves, the veteran Portuguese defender. He still has a year left on his contract at Rangers but has been linked with a return to his homeland with Vitoria Guimaraes.