Rangers defender Niko Katic has been spotted back on day one of Ibrox training as he returns from a loan spell with Hajduk Split.

The big Croatian centre-back, 25, returned to the Balkans last season as he looked to build himself back from an excruciating cruciate ligament injury in pre-season of 2020.

As a result Niko missed the club’s triumphant 55 success and the defender has spent the last season rebuilding his fitness in Croatia and impressed during a stint with Hajduk.

Helping the club to a noble 2nd in the Croatian First League, the Split side also lifted the Croatian Cup in a memorable campaign for Niko.

But now the defender was snapped being put through his paces at the Rangers Training Centre as Niko Katic builds fan hopes of a heroic Ibrox redemption story.

Niko Katic returns to Rangers after Hajduk Split loan

Many Rangers fans may have believed Niko’s Ibrox career was all but over following last season’s loan move but it appears Giovanni van Bronckhorst will get a closer look at the player.

The pictures also come amid reports that Hajduk Split had a £3m option-to-buy when it comes to Nikola Katic, but for whatever reason this appears not to have been activated.

A hugely popular first-teamer amongst the fans at Ibrox, if Niko Katic can prove his fitness the powerful centre-back can be a huge asset to Rangers next season.

Rangers are now looking increasingly well stocked at centre-back, with Connor Goldson signing a new deal and being joined by John Souttar, Filip Helander, Calvin Bassey and young talent Leon King.

Rangers FC v Stranraer FC - Scottish Cup: Fourth Round
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Niko Katic’s presence at the Rangers training centre may also explain why the contract of popular first-teamer Leon Balogun was not renewed heading into the new season.

Rangers signed Niko Katic for a reported £2m in 2018 whilst under the management of Steven Gerrard and the defender has gone on to make 59 appearances for the club.

Meanwhile, it’s a case of what might’ve been as a former Ibrox youth reportedly snubs Man United as he moves to the Premier League.

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