A big Rangers transfer claim has emerged, regarding the potential sale of Romanian forward Ianis Hagi from Ibrox and his future under Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Former Premier League forward Noel Whelan has claimed that the Gers will need to buy and sell players like the winger for profit to compete with Celtic in the long-term, citing their business model with Virgil van Dijk in particular.
He told Football Insider: “Rangers have got to sell players like him in order to be self-sustainable.
“That’s been the case for Celtic too, not just Rangers. As much as they’re giants in Scotland and well-known across Europe, we’ve seen over the years that Celtic will take profits on their best players.
“Their recruitment has been so crucial for them, and that’s the same for Rangers. They buy them, nuture them, develop them – but then when the time is right, they sell them on.
“It just like what happened with Van Dijk at Celtic. Many have come through there and done a great job for them, winning titles at the club.
“It’s just the way of the world right now. Money talks if you are Rangers or Celtic, they just can’t compete with the Premier League clubs at the moment.”
Turkish outlet En Son Haber recently claimed that Rangers are preparing for Hagi’s exit as a number of clubs circle around the forward. In selling the attacker, they could repeat an Old Firm masterclass from Celtic – as they sold van Dijk for a gigantic profit back in 2015.
Per Transfermarkt, the Hoops signed the Dutchman from Groningen for £2.48m in 2013 before selling him to Southampton for £14.13m two years later. He is one of seven players Celtic have sold for more than £11m since 2014, whilst Rangers have not sold a player for more than £3m in that time.
The Gers reportedly paid £4m to sign Hagi from Genk in 2020 and the interest in his services now could offer them the chance to make a profit on him, much like Celtic did with van Dijk. Ross Wilson now has a major decision to make and he could repeat their masterclass in doing so.
Selling the Romanian international could allow them to kickstart a healthy business model moving forward where they are able to develop young talent before selling them on for big money and then replacing them with more prospects. The Gers could use Hagi as the poster boy for this, showing targets his potential success to convince them to make a similar switch.
This could aid the club in their attempts to sign talented youngsters in the future, as it would show that Rangers are willing to be a stepping stone in their footballing journey. Whilst it may not be music to the fans’ ears, it could be a profitable move by Wilson that helps the long-term future at Ibrox.