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Son of Romania hero Hagi to join Rangers in loan deal

 

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Pastures new: Ianis Hagi, playing for Fiorentina, is on the verge of completing a loan move to Rangers from Belgian side Genk

Pastures new: Ianis Hagi, playing for Fiorentina, is on the verge of completing a loan move to Rangers from Belgian side Genk

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Borna Barisic

Borna Barisic

Getty Images

Pastures new: Ianis Hagi, playing for Fiorentina, is on the verge of completing a loan move to Rangers from Belgian side Genk

Rangers are expected to complete the signing of Ianis Hagi on loan from Genk until the end of the season.

Hagi, who is son of former Real Madrid and Barcelona hero Gheorghe Hagi, is expected in Glasgow to complete a medical.

The attacking midfielder will join Steven Gerrard at Ibrox in search of regular game time.

The Gers have been looking for a new centre-midfielder in the January transfer window.

They have also been linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Miguel Luis.

But Gerrard has opted to sign Hagi instead, with the deal expected to be completed, according to Belgian media.

The 21-year-old, who has also played for Fiorentina in Italy, has massively impressed in his youth career, and has earned 10 caps for Romania.

He scored against England last summer during the Under-21 European Championships, and saw his stock rise over the course of the competition.

Hagi has started six league matches for Genk in the Belgian league this season.

During that time, he's scored three goals from attacking midfield, while also providing four assists.

Meanwhile, Rangers defender Borna Barisic has committed his future to Ibrox until 2024.

The Croatian has become a key part of Gerrard's side during his second campaign at Ibrox.

Gerrard revealed earlier this month that Rangers had opened talks with Barisic following interest from Serie A giants Roma.

The 27-year-old has now put pen-to-paper on a long-term deal with the Light Blues.

Barisic said: "I want to thank our sporting director Ross Wilson and everyone on the board at Rangers Football Club.

"I would also like to thank the staff I work with every day, our manager Steven Gerrard and my team-mates, who have helped me get to this point.

"Most importantly I would like to thank the fans who always support me and that is for sure one of the reasons why I have signed the new contract."

Barisic has had a stunning season so far providing seven assists in the Scottish Premiership and five in the Europa League.

He's also established himself as Croatia's first choice left-back and picked up 12 caps to date.

Also, Rangers defender Matt Polster has vowed to make the most of the second chance he has been given by Gerrard.

Livingston were rumoured to be monitoring the American's situation, while a move back to the MLS was mooted as it appeared the former Chicago Fire man's stint in Scotland was coming to an end. But with skipper James Tavernier out injured and right-back Jon Flanagan low on form, the 26-year-old was finally given his opportunity at Tynecastle on Sunday.

Polster was introduced for Flanagan at half-time and, while Gers slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat to bottom-of-the-league Hearts, he impressed enough to earn his first Ladbrokes Premiership start against Ross County three days later.

It was another encouraging display as he helped Gerrard's team to a 2-0 win on Wednesday night and Polster has now been told he will be staying put until the summer at least.

But the American insists he never wanted to leave Ibrox in the first place.

"There's been no offers that I know of," he explained.

"For me, I never wanted to leave the club and my goal was always to stay here and make it work here and be as successful as I could. I was never looking to leave. I read in the media that I am not going anywhere now. That's what the manager has told me. Has the speculation been tough to deal with? Well people keep telling me that you just never know in football and anything can change. For me, I have just been working hard in training, trying to put my head down and wait for a chance.

"That chance came against Hearts and I thought I did well in that game. The staff gave me a chance again against County and I thought I did well."

Belfast Telegraph