Rangers have reportedly been linked to teenage Croatian striking sensation Roko Simic as he is compared to Dortmund and Bundesliga superstar Erling Braut Haaland.
The 17-year-old striker is already a regular player for current club NK Lokomotiva and has second twice in the Croatian First League this season in 11 starts and 21 games.
The son of former AC Milan star Dario Simic, the striker was compared to £155m (€180m)-rated Haaland [ESPN] by the editor-and-chief of Sportske Novosti, Robert Sola.
“Young strong, full of character, courageous. He has the potential to become the new Alen Boksic or the Croatian Erling Haaland,” said Sola, as quoted by Voetbal Nieuws.
The story appeared in Scotland firstly in the Daily Record before also cropping up in the Scottish Sun, with both newspapers using quotes from ex-Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic which are used in the Belgian report mentioned above and attributed back to Sportske Novosti in Croatia.
This report does not mention Rangers alongside Simic other than as one of Jelavic’s former clubs.
The former Gers target-man played with Simic this season before retiring at 35 and believes he has the attributes to become a “world-class striker”.
“Roko is certainly one of the greatest talents in Croatian football! That’s for sure, he’s a young and decent guy, brilliantly brought up and he’s a real rough diamond,” said Jelavic.
“He is gaining experience, I played with him and as one of the older players, we helped him along.
“Everyone knows who he is because of his famous father, but that’s a burden that will shortly be off his back because he’s good enough to write his own story.
“I am convinced that Roko will make a great career and that he will be a world-class striker, I really haven’t seen a more talented player than Roko for a long time.”
Both Scottish newspapers fail to quote the source of the “reported” Rangers’ interest in the striker and the Voetbal Nieuws report concerns namely links to Anderlecht in Belgium.
Those links appear to concern a story in Sportske Novosti last week which names Milan, Torino, Verona, Anderlecht, and RB Salzburg as having shown an “interest” in the player with no mention of Rangers.
That’s not to say Rangers aren’t interested or even that they haven’t been linked but there is some confusion as to the origins of the story.
However, it would come as a huge surprise if Rangers weren’t aware of the forward with the club striking up scouting links in the Balkans and regularly visiting the country to watch games.