As a defender at the top of his game, Borna Barisic is proving deft at dealing with tricky situations. So it was when the Croatian international was asked the other day about his commitment to Rangers.
The poser was inspired by reports linking him with Leeds United, Roma and Napoli. A level of interest that moved Steven Gerrard to maintain he “is not for sale” and that “if someone was to prise him away it would cost an awful lot of money.”
“I was expecting this question. I don’t want to talk about transfers or things like that,” the 27-year-old said. “The most important thing is where I am now and that is Rangers. We know how big this season is for us. I don’t want to think about transfers because when you think about things like that, it is normal that you then lose your focus. Personally, as a player and a club, we have started very well, I have started well and that is the most important thing.”
Barisic, pictured, was more forthcoming about his dead-ball expertise. So adept is the player at making the ball talk from free-kicks, it is surprising that his classy curler in the midweek 3-0 victory over St Johnstone was only his third such goal since his arrival from Osijek a year ago.
That is a product of the fact he has not had first dibs on such set-pieces. He would accept not only that nomination – to push James Tavernier and Ianis Hagi down the pecking order – but be happy to become the team’s penalty taker. He said “of course”, he would put up his hand for the job.
“We practice penalties on the training ground and during the season,” Barisic said. “If you said I was going to shoot the penalties, I would shoot. If it was someone else, that’s it.”