By George Overhill

7th Jun, 2023 | 6:10pm

Rangers open Borna Barisic negotiations amid transfer exit speculation

Borna Barisic has already started negotiations with Rangers over a new contract, the defender has revealed, amid speculation over his future.

The left-back has a year left on his deal, and after injury ended his season Ridvan Yilmaz performed strongly in his place, so the 30-year-old has been tipped as a potential summer sale.

But while Barisic has admitted such speculation does get through to him he has suggested that an Ibrox stay is on the cards thanks to his strong relationship with the club.

The Croatian international said, as per the Daily Record: “I have a contract with Rangers for one more year. I have started negotiations with the club.

“I don’t want to say anything because you never know in football. However, I have a great relationship with everyone at the club and we will find the best solution.

“There’s always speculation about my future. It reaches me – but little of it is true. I missed three games at the end of the season, I had a quadriceps injury, it wasn’t terrible, but we didn’t want to risk it. The last time I played it was for about 25 minutes.”

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If he is happy to stay and the new contract doesn’t prevent Michael Beale making moves elsewhere then Barisic remaining could be a sensible option.

Yilmaz is currently in line to be the man for the future after making up for lost time late on following a frustrating debut campaign stunted by injury.

So the senior man’s position may be under threat as the 22-year-old won’t want to spend another year sitting on the bench and was previously linked to a move back to Turkey.

But Beale would certainly not be averse to a proper position battle at left-back if it pushes both men to raise their levels.

Barisic’s delivery from the left is arguably the finest in the SPFL, but Yilmaz’s all-round game probably has the potential to be stronger.

Either way, a new deal for the Croatian takes the pressure off Rangers to sell before they are ready or for a knock-down price, and whether it means he does stay longer-term or still goes in a more valuable deal it can clearly be justified at this stage.

In other Rangers news, the club have been backed to complete the “fantastic” signing of a striker after a bid was tabled.