A major update has emerged in Rangers’ pursuit of a Croatian midfielder, and it could lead to Ross Wilson landing a cracking deal for the club.
According to Football Insider, Rangers are working hard on a deal to sign defensive midfielder Ivan Lepinjica from Croatian side Rijeka this summer. The report claims that the Gers are interested in signing the 21-year-old on an initial loan, with an option to make it permanent at the end of the 2021/22 season.
Premier League side Tottenham were looking into a move for Lepinjica before pulling out of the race due to concerns over his injury problems at Rijeka.
Last year, HITC claimed that Croatian football expert Ivan Zezelj likened the youngster to Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba in his style of play. Zezelj also spoke about how Lepinjica is mature for his age as he told HITC: “Lepinjica is a natural number six; young and very talented. He can play as a number eight as well, in my opinion.
“He’s very mature for his age. Last season, he was promoted to the senior squad and instantly played like an experienced pro.”
Rangers fans would surely love it if the club could seal a deal for Lepinjica. The 21-year-old has already played 70 competitive games for Rijeka’s first team and has been capped at various youth levels by Croatia, suggesting that he has stood out among his peers to make it through to Rijeka’s team ahead of others in the youth ranks.
Tottenham’s interest in his services is also a good sign for Rangers, as it shows that Lepinjica was performing at a level where Premier League sides took notice of his talent.
This shows that the Gers could be about to bring in a top-quality midfield player with plenty of promise. He could be someone who is able to develop over time and learn under the coaching of Steven Gerrard as he has many years ahead of him in the game at 21.
Rangers fans could enjoy watching him flourish over a number of years as they see his progress as a player and a person, with his potential being one of the reasons why the club must sanction a deal for Lepinjica.
The deal being an initial loan also makes it ideal for Rangers from a financial point of view. The £720,000-rated beast can be monitored during his loan spell with the club, allowing Wilson and Gerrard to run the rule over him before deciding whether or not they want to commit funds to keep him on a permanent basis.
This would mean that Rangers are not stuck with him if, for whatever reason, it does not work out for him in Scotland. It could be a great deal all round and Wilson should sanction it this summer.