By Daniel Lewis

20th Nov, 2023 | 3:10pm

Derek Clark says Rangers face tough call over Ianis Hagi future at Ibrox after John Bennett statement

Rangers have a “big decision” to make on the future of Ianis Hagi following recent comments made by chairman John Bennett, according to journalist Derek Clark.

Hagi hinted in an interview with the LaLiga podcast [16 November] he is open to staying at LaLiga side Alaves, whom he joined on a season-long loan in August.

The Romania international, who cost the Gers £4.5million to buy permanently in May 2020 [Daily Record], will have two years to run on his contract when he returns to Ibrox next summer.

Discussing Hagi’s future on The Rangers Review podcast [20 November, 9m 49s], Clark said: “With the Euros around the corner, if he goes there and has a good Euros, his price tag might increase significantly, so there’s that to factor in.

“I think it’s a ‘watch this space’ scenario with Ianis at this point in time.

“It will do him the world of good getting some minutes after his lengthy injury. Then it’s up to the manager in the summer time to make an assessment. But like I said, after the Euros, it’s a big decision for Rangers to make.

“I know the accounts have just been released and John Bennett’s statement was quite telling about the player trading model and how Rangers need to do better in that department, with players being flipped for a profit. Hagi would certainly be a player to make a bit of money on.”

Cash in

Speaking upon the release of the club’s most recent accounts, Bennett admitted a change in approach is needed with regards to player sales.

Rangers saw a number of players depart in the summer window, but the most they recouped for any of those was the £5m Leeds paid for Glen Kamara.

Hagi has hardly lit LaLiga up so far, having assisted just one goal and scored none of his own in nine appearances, but he continues to catch the eye for Romania.

The Gers will surely not consider selling unless they can make a profit on the 25-year-old – so a fee in excess of £5m – and for that to happen they need him to start performing consistently.

However, consistency is something Hagi has struggled with since returning from a year-long lay-off, explaining why he was allowed to leave on loan in the first place.

As the accounts showed earlier this month, though, Rangers are not really in a position to just stack up lots of players – some need to be moved on at a profit.

Philippe Clement has showed he is able to get the most out of previously underperforming players, but it may well be in everyone’s interests to cut ties with Hagi should a reasonable bid be tabled next year.

In other Rangers news, Clement can make a Sky Sports pundit look silly over comments he made regarding the Gers and Celtic.