Rangers are reportedly interested in signing Rijeka midfielder Ivan Lepinjica this summer and should he join Steven Gerrard’s side at Ibrox ahead of next season, it could prove to be a repeat of two superb signings made by former Gers sporting director Mark Allen.
Reports from Croatia claim that Gerrard’s side are keen on the in-demand midfielder, who has attracted interest from Chelsea in the past, and could look to bring him in on a loan-to-buy deal this summer.
Rangers have enjoyed a lot of success in signing from the Croatian league in the past, with both Borna Barisic and Nikola Katic having impressed at Ibrox since their arrivals from NK Osijek and Slaven Belupo respectively.
Barisic joined in 2018 after impressing Gerrard with his performances for Osijek against Rangers in a Europa League tie and has gone on to make 112 appearances for the Teddy Bears, contributing an impressive seven goals and 32 assists, whilst he was instrumental in the unbeaten league campaign last season.
Katic, meanwhile, joined in 2018 and has gone on to make 59 appearances for Gerrard’s side, contributing six goals and three assists from centre-back and surely would have had a big part to play last season had he not been ruled out with a cruciate ligament injury.
Both have earned caps for the Croatian national side and Lepinjica therefore will perhaps feel that a move to Rangers could help him establish himself in Zlatko Dalić’s side in the near future should he have a similarly impressive impact at Ibrox.
The 21-year-old has been a regular in Rijeka’s side in the past few seasons, making 70 appearances in total, in which he has contributed two goals and two assists.
Therefore, signing the £450k-rated youngster on a loan-to-buy deal could prove to be a very smart piece of business by Ross Wilson this summer. if he is anywhere near as good as Katic or Barisic, then he would surely be appreciated by Gerrard, and it could even prove to be a repeat of the superb deals negotiated by Wilson’s predecessor Mark Allen.
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