Borna Barisic set for Rangers leave of absence as dad-to-be addresses his Ibrox future
Barisic helped the Ibrox side take another step towards retaining the Scottish Cup by delivering a pinpoint cross for Connor Goldson's headed opener in the 3-0 quarter-final win over Raith Rovers at Ibrox on Sunday. The 30-year-old, who was replaced in the 66th minute to ensure he avoided the booking that would have ruled him out of the Hampden semi-finals, has been living on his own for the past two months after wife Anja returned to their homeland to prepare for the birth of their baby son. Barisic will fly out to be with her ahead of the due date this week and he admitted that it has been tough to spend so much time away from his pregnant partner – but his excitement is now building ahead of the imminent new arrival.
“In one way it is [difficult] as you need to think about it a lot as it’s our first baby,” he said. “I’m separated from my wife and it’s not easy for me or her. But that’s part of my job. In one way it’s harder but in another way I’m very motivated and excited. I hope everything will go well. Everyone tells us it will be a big change in our lives but I’ll still not know until the baby is here. I’m alone obviously now for two months already so it’s a little bit harder now we are separated as I care about everything. But after the baby comes and they are able to fly they will come here.”
Ridvan Yilmaz, who made his first appearance since October when he replaced Barisic off the bench on Sunday, is on standby to step into the left-back slot against Motherwell this Saturday after recovering from a long-term hamstring injury. However, Barisic has not ruled out making a swift return in time for the lunchtime kick-off at Fir Park should the baby arrive on time. “We will see how things go. And then we will decide.”
How much of his childhood baby Barisic spends in Glasgow will likely depend on whether his dad-to-be extends his stay at Rangers beyond his current deal, which expires in the summer of 2024. Barisic refuses to look that far ahead but is happy to admit that he is enjoying life at Ibrox having rediscovered his best form following the return of former first-team coach Michael Beale as manager in November.
"I’m very motivated, I’ve settled down here and I’m very happy,” he stressed. “I had a nice chat with Mick when I came back from the World Cup and made some deals. I’m feeling good. That’s the reason. I’ve not had any discussion about my contract yet. We haven’t spoken about that, my only focus is on football.
“What will happen in the future? We will see. You never know in football, I never want to say I will stay or I will leave because you never know and then people say you lied before when you spoke a few months ago. So I don’t want to to talk about that. The most important thing is that I’m very focused here and very happy.”
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