Rangers defender Borna Barisic is facing an uncertain future at Ibrox, amid mounting interest in the impressive full-back.
Recent reports have seen newly-promoted Premier League outfit Nottingham Forest linked with a move for the 29-year-old this summer, with manager Steve Cooper seemingly keen to add the Croatia international to his wave of new arrivals at the City Ground.
While the 26-cap gem has also been tipped for a move to Turkish champions Trabzonspor of late, the indication is that no bid has yet been made by any party for the 6 foot 1 colossus, with two years still left to run on his existing deal.
Journalist Pete O’Rourke has now provided his thoughts on the left-back’s future – in an interview with Football FanCast – with the suggestion being that the Old Firm would be keen to keep him at the club beyond the end of the window.
Asked whether manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be desperate to keep him at the club, the transfer insider stated: “I think so. I think Barisic has been a key player for Rangers over the last couple of seasons. A real top performer as well.
“He started against PSV in that 2-2 draw as well so I’m sure Giovanni van Bronckhorst would want to keep Barisic.”
As O’Rourke alluded to above, Barisic remains a key figure at the club despite potential uncertainty over his future, having started in the recent 2-2 draw with PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League playoff clash on Tuesday night.
Despite the arrival of fellow left-back Ridvan Yilmaz this summer for a reported fee of around £5m, the more senior man has largely kept his place in the starting XI, featuring from the start in five of the Gers’ six games so far this season.
A crucial figure under both former boss Steven Gerrard and his successor, Van Bronckhorst, the £5.4m-rated titan has now racked up 161 appearances for the Scottish Premiership side since his arrival back in 2018, scoring seven goals and providing an impressive 36 assists in that time.
Previously dubbed “outstanding” by the aforementioned Gerrard, the £18k-per-week brute has caught the eye as both an attacking threat and in a defensive sense, notably averaging 2.1 tackles per game in the league last term – a record better than that of captain and fellow full-back, James Tavernier (1.9).
His average match rating of 7.29 from the 2021/22 campaign, as per SofaScore, was also the fifth-highest among the Rangers squad, further rubberstamping just what a vital asset he really is to the side.
It may be tempting to cash in on a player whose contract expiry is on the horizon, yet it would seemingly be hard to replace a figure who remains a key cog in Van Bronckhorst’s machine.