Ianis Hagi eager to stay but Rangers hang fire on permanent deal

Director of football Ross Wilson says club not in a position yet to exercise £4 million buy-out clause

Ianis Hagi has made a good impression during his short stint at Rangers. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Ianis Hagi has made a good impression during his short stint at Rangers. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

A permanent deal for Ianis Hagi at Rangers is the desired outcome for both the on-loan Genk midfielder and the Ibrox side, according to Ross Wilson. However, the club’s director of football admits that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown could “possibly” impact on Rangers’ ability to exercise a £4 million buy-out clause agreed when they recruited the 21-year-old Romanian on a temporary deal in January.

“We are in really regular contact with Ianis – Steven [Gerrard] , Gary [McAllister], Michael Beale and myself – as we are with all of the players. He’s delighted to have had a fantastic impact, we are really happy with him. He’s on loan until the end of season 19-20 whenever that comes – whether it is the end of May, end of June or end of July,” said Wilson, pictured inset.

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“We’ve got an exclusive option on him negotiated at the time. We’ve got a little bit of time before we need to take that.

“We’ve got a really good relationship with him, his agents, his dad [Gheorghe Hagi] and that’s worked really well. It’s been a really successful loan for him so far.

“The guys at Genk have been great as well so all positives here. But we’ve not been in a position to commit to that one way or another yet other than all the relationships are good and everyone is happy with it. I think he has found a place at Rangers where he’s felt loved, he can feel the size of the club and loved the intensity and the pressure of the crowd.

“He conducted that famous interview after the Braga game [in which he scored twice] where he was so happy to be here. That’s the type of kid he is, he’s a wonderfully positive boy.

“He absolutely loves football. Steven Gerrard is fantastic to him, as are all the other coaches, everyone has a really good relationship with him.

“Of course it’s a positive for us that any player has such a positive time with us and wants to stay. We will see where all that goes. Generally speaking, we are really happy with Ianis.”

Plans to step up discussions to sign him on a permanent basis have inevitably been hit by the global shutdown caused by the current health crisis.

“I think the question is the uncertainty created,” said Wilson. “I’ve obviously had contact with a lot of my contacts and colleagues throughout Europe and in England, fellow sporting directors and chief executives throughout Europe. On everyone’s lips is the uncertainty over, firstly, when the transfer window is actually going to open. In a normal situation that wouldn’t be too far away at all. But we are still at this moment not sure when the window will open.

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“Secondly, is what the transfer market and the landscape around 
it will look like when it does open. 
So I think that’s the bigger question for us probably right here, right now.

“But clearly every club is going to suffer a financial impact of different shapes and sizes from coronavirus. That’s obvious for everyone to see, but we are really open-minded on where we might go with them. Ianis has undoubtedly made a really positive impression on all of us.”

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