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Rangers: Nikola Katic set to return to Ibrox

Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronkhorst and Ross Wilson have been hit with a setback over Nikola Katic’s future at Ibrox heading into the summer transfer window…

What’s the talk?

According to Football Scotland, his loan club are unlikely to sign him on a permanent deal despite having a £3m option to do so in their loan agreement.

The report claims that the defender will now return to the Premiership club for pre-season in an attempt to impress van Bronckhorst and break back into the Rangers squad.

Supporters will be frustrated

This is a huge blow for Wilson and is one that will surely leave the supporters frustrated as it leaves the club £3m short of what they could have had and with an injury-plagued player remaining on the books.

Does Katic have a future at Rangers?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Since joining the club, Katic has missed 58 competitive matches for the Gers and was ruled out for a whopping 358 days after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in 2020.

Transfermarkt have no injury updates on his time in the Croatian top-flight in 2021/22 but the centre-back only managed 17 starts and 21 appearances for Split in the league. His statistics in the division do not suggest that his limited game time was down to form as he averaged an excellent SofaScore rating of 7.01 and won 64% of his duels in the 1. HNL.

After spending an extraordinary amount of time out injured, it is not a surprise to see that Katic did not rack up 30+ starts in Croatia. However, that does not take away from the fact that he is not a reliable option for van Bronckhorst to call upon.

His injury record means that he cannot start the season expecting to be a regular in the team as he is yet to prove that he can remain fit throughout the campaign.

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Gio van Bronckhorst coaching on the touchline for Rangers

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This is why Split’s decision is a setback for Wilson as he would have been able to use the £3m fee to bring in a centre-back with a proven track record of fitness to bolster the team. Therefore, this update is a huge blow for the club, as it stands, and is one that will frustrate supporters who will surely want reliable options in the squad.

Of course, if Katic can come back and prove his fitness and enjoy a stellar season for the Light Blues next term then no one will be worrying about £3m. For now, though, his record suggests that he has a long way to go to get back on track with his availability.

AND in other news, Rangers can land dream Kent heir in deal for £1.5m “asset” who can “affect the game”…

Article title: Rangers: Nikola Katic set to return to Ibrox

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