There were widespread reports on Tuesday evening that Rangers had completed the signing of Ianis Hagi from Genk [Glasgow Times].
There has been no official confirmation from the Gers as yet but the Belgian club wished the playmaker farewell in a now-deleted post on their website and various trusted sources are reporting the deal as done.
It’s not a huge surprise that Rangers have been able to pull off the signing.
There has allegedly been interest from across Europe in the Romania international, but the Gers always had an exclusive option to buy when Hagi’s initial loan deal came to an end.
The most surprising aspect is the price.
Over recent weeks, outlets were reporting that Hagi’s transfer fee was likely to be in the region of €5 million [Het Laatste Nieuws], which equates to £4.5 million.
Whilst a sizeable outlay for a club whose biggest transfer by some margin in the last decade was last summer’s £7 million deadline day swoop for Ryan Kent, £4.5 million for a senior international who lit up the Europa League Round of 32 would constitute good business.
If you knock off a third of the price (excluding possible add-ons) and stagger the payments across three years? Then you have yourself a veritable bargain.
According to the reports, that’s what Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson managed to pull off.
Ianis Hagi set to join @RangersFC in £3m deal. Payments will be split over three years.
— Jim White (@JimWhite) May 26, 2020
It’s likely that Genk were to some degree hampered by the terms of the exclusive option to buy, which was a forward-thinking move in itself from Wilson. The global health crisis and the financial uncertainty it has caused is also likely to drive market prices down this summer.
Yet, it’s still remarkable that the Gers have somehow managed to land Hagi for a smaller fee than the £4 million Genk paid Viitorul Constanta to acquire him in 2019 [BBC Sport].
Hagi isn’t yet the finished article. He needs to bulk up physically and find a way to become more consistent.
The 21-year-old is extremely talented, though, and Rangers fans already have proof that he loves the big occasion.
From the terms of the initial loan to the allegedly agreed permanent move, this has been an excellent piece of transfer business.