By Doug Ward

1st Sep, 2021 | 7:37am

Nikola Katic in transfer confusion after deadline day loan exit from Rangers

Nikola Katic’s long-term future at Rangers was left in doubt on deadline day after he moved on loan to Hajduk Split, according to the Scottish Sun.

The newspaper reports that Rangers claim they have the option to recall Katic, 24, from that loan spell in January but the Croatian club are saying they have the option to sign the defender permanently next summer.

It is understood that both could be true but it leaves doubts lingering over the centre-back’s long-term future at Ibrox.

Clarification, please

Rangers need to clear this up for fans because while both the recall and option-to-buy options could be true, it’s a bit weird it wasn’t announced by the Gers.

Katic has spent a year on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury and it makes sense to loan him out.

Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Leon Balogun are all seemingly above the one-time Croatia international in Steven Gerrard’s pecking order at centre-back so a short-term deal is a good move.

It allows Katic to get back up to speed after such a lengthy lay-off and if he does well in Croatia and we need a centre-back in January, he can be recalled.

But why include a recall option in the deal, announce it online and then also agree an option for a sale in 2022? That makes no sense.

Rangers should either want to keep Katic or not. You only really include option-to-buy clauses in loan deals if you’re looking to sell.

But clearly, the club isn’t looking to sell if they have an option to recall him in the winter.

This needs to be cleared up or at least make abundantly clear in the initial announcement of the transfer on deadline day.

In other Rangers news, a midfielder arrival was mooted by Sky Sports on deadline day.