Rangers show who’s boss by quashing club v country debate after official announcement
Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images

Rangers win Champions League fight as young star's Olympics dream dies

Rangers attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi will not be travelling with the Romania squad to the Tokyo Olympics and will remain in Glasgow ahead of the club’s Champions League qualifiers.

In what is a huge blow to the Romania U23 side, the talented star won’t be present at the games and hasn’t been named in the nation’s squad for the tournament.

Read the squad in full HERE.

Because the Olympics is technically a youth tournament, Rangers were under no obligation to send Hagi, 22, to Japan.

This represents a major boost to Rangers’ chances in qualifying with two key first-team players in Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe – who are serving UEFA bans – missing all or some of the qualifiers.

Last season Hagi was routinely employed in one of the two “number 10” roles off the striker – similarly to Roofe – whilst the Romanian was also an able deputy in central midfield.

Ianis isn’t the only one to miss out on the Romanian squad either as clubs across the continent look out for their best interests ahead of next season.

Parma duo Valentin Mihăilă and Dennis Man also miss out, as does teenage Juventus defender Radu Drăgușin as well as a host of names from within Romania.

Much of the issue concerns the scheduling of the games with Tokyo 2020 obviously being held one year later due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ianis Hagi – son of legendary Romanian star Gheorghe – has 18 caps and one goal for the Romanian men’s team. (Photo by Alex Nicodim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be held between the 23rd of July and the 8th of August – just as Rangers’ campaign begins – and Rangers clearly value Hagi too highly to let him leave.

Rangers’ first Champions League qualifier – in the 3rd round of qualifying – is set to take place on the 3rd or 4th of August whilst the club’s cinch Scottish Premiership campaign kicks off against Livingston on July 31st.

Not that Hagi appears to mind too much; the attacking midfielder was snapped in training enjoying a refreshment as he was put through the wringer on his return from pre-season.

Hagi was named the Rangers Young Player of the Year last season and laid on an impressive 15 assists and scored eight goals in what proved a legendary campaign.

Ahead of the new season, the midfielder has been linked elsewhere with the most recent club said to be sniffing around only just winning promotion to their nation’s top flight.

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