Rangers are preparing to welcome Red Star Belgrade to Ibrox in the last 16 of the Europa League with talismanic midfielder turned one-time Ibrox target Mirko Ivanic to join them.

The Montenegrin international, 28, had a wonder season for the Serbian outfit last year as they matched the Gers with an unbeaten campaign in their home division to lift the title.

Crvena Zvezda v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad: Group F - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

As a result, Rangers were extensively linked to Mirko Ivanic in the summer with reports in Serbia suggesting the Ibrox were set to launch a £3m move for the player as he entered the final year of his deal [Mozzart Sport].

There was a reason why these links piqued the interest of so many fans: last season alone for Red Star Belgrade Ivanic netted 20 goals from an attacking midfield position and laid on 16 assists in 48 games.

This campaign, the talented has also had his shooting boots on with the club captain netting 13 goals and laying on five assists in 37 games.

In total, Ivanic has 39 goals and 27 assists in 134 matches for Red Star.

Mirko Ivanic to visit Rangers with Red Star Belgrade

Reported Rangers interest in Mirko Ivanic appeared to wane after the midfielder signed a new deal at Red Star and if the concern was legitimate, the club will be well aware of the midfielder’s quality.

Rangers will need to be at their best to get through into the Europa League quarter finals and so much about stifling Red Star will concern minimising the effectiveness of Mirko Ivanic.

But whilst the Ibrox-linked midfielder is set to visit the club with the Serbian side, Rangers must be confident heading into the two-legged affair.

Rangers have reached the Last 16 of the Europa League for the third season in a row but this time around, the Ibrox club are perhaps favourites for the first time.

Crvena Zvezda v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad: Group F - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

After knocking out tournament favourites Borussia Dortmund, Rangers should fear no-one but Red Star Belgrade and talismanic midfielder Mirko Ivanic will be eager to spoil the party.

Let’s hope the midfielder doesn’t show the kind of form that reportedly had the Ibrox club interested in the summer.

Meanwhile, one Premier League boss has been making a startling Rangers admission after the Europa League draw was made.

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