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£3m agreement

Rangers splash cash to sign Hagi on ‘long-term’ deal

Deal: Ianis Hagi (pic: SNS Group)

Rangers fans desperate to see their side halt Celtic’s march to 10-in-row will be delighted by the signing of playmaker Ianis Hagi.

The Romanian midfielder made a big impression during a loan spell from Genk last season, scoring three goals in 12 appearances.

The Ibrox club have now made the move permanent, bringing Hagi to Ibrox in what they say is a ‘long-term’ deal which is reported to be worth £3 million.

The 21-year-old said: “I am excited about rejoining the squad for pre-season and putting on the famous shirt once again.

“There was interest from other clubs, but my priority was always to return to Glasgow and play for Rangers.”

Capped 10 times for his country, Hagi struck up a good relationship with Steven Gerrard after his arrival in January.

“He is a pleasure to coach as he is willing to learn and become better every training session. He has already experienced the pressure and expectation of Ibrox, I know he is ready for next season,” said the Ibrox boss.

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Sporting director Ross Wilson commented: “We are delighted that Ianis has chosen to continue his career at Rangers. I have had numerous conversations with Ianis and his representatives and he made it clear that continuing with Rangers was his absolute focus.

“He is not only a huge talent but also a top young professional who is determined to be successful. We are sure our investment in him will be an effective one as we believe in his ability now whilst also being excited that at 21 years old there is significantly more development to come from him.

“When Ianis arrived in January we quickly developed a strong relationship with him and I know how much Steven and the coaches enjoy working with him every day.

“The formality of the transfer won’t complete until the transfer window opens but we look forward to welcoming Ianis back to Glasgow in the next few weeks alongside the rest of the first team squad. Finally, I thank KRC Genk for their openness, flexibility and creativity in all of our discussions.

“We secured an exclusive option in January and in recent weeks we have worked with Genk to find a new solution that works for everyone now, given how much the world has changed in the last few months.”

League reconstruction talks

League construction will again be discussed by SPFL clubs next week.

Ann Budge has come back to the table with a revised proposal after seeing her initial suggestion for change kicked out.

This time the Hearts owner is proposing a 14-14-14 set-up for two years, with the Jambos avoiding demotion if the proposal is passed.

Ann Budge

Ann Budge: revised proposal (pic: SNS Group)

Hearts and Inverness Caledonian Thistle would make up the new-look top flight.

Partick Thistle dropped out of the Championship and League One Stranraer were also relegated in the current 12-10-10-10 format when the Covid-19 brought an early end to the season.

Under the proposed changes, the Jags would remain in the Championship with Stranraer playing in the third tier.

The lower league clubs remain sceptical of the benefit to them should they vote for Budge’s plan and the odds on the proposals gaining enough support seem long.

“The board has now received Ann Budge’s paper to clubs on the topic of league reconstruction,” said an SPFL statement.

“As these matters are ultimately decided by clubs via a democratic process, we will now facilitate a series of divisional meetings, starting with the Premiership on Monday, at which all 42 clubs will have the chance to discuss the proposals in detail.”

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