Speaking to BBC Scotland, Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic has heaped praise on Borna Barisic and tipped the left-back to continue at Rangers despite alleged interest from Roma [Sunday Post].

The left-back has missed the last two matches after sustaining a knock in the Scottish Cup Fifth Round win at Hamilton but is set to return to the starting XI against Braga on Thursday evening [RangersTV].

Borna Barisic is set to return for Rangers against Braga.
(Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

That’s a big boost for the Gers, considering how influential the 27-year-old has been this season.

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He’s highly regarded in Glasgow, but also by Dalic, who’s shown faith in him through thick and thin.

“Borna has been our first-choice left-back since the World Cup,” he told BBC Scotland. “That shows our trust in him. His performance also got better as he got more comfortable at Rangers.”

“In our clinching game [Euro 2020 Qualifiers] against Slovakia at home, he was one of the best players on the pitch and I expect him to continue producing at such a high level – we’ll need it at the Euros.”

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“I believe that Borna is happy at Rangers and the new contract proves that,” continued Dalic, after being probed on apparent Roma interest.

 

“I know he enjoys the fantastic crowd at Ibrox and working with Steven Gerrard because he feels he can learn a lot from him and that he improves under his guidance.”

The Croatia left-back has drawn interest from Roma but recently penned a new contract at Rangers. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Verdict

It’s encouraging for fans to see a Rangers player spoken so highly of by an esteemed international boss, who took Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018.

Dalic showed faith in the former Osijek defender even through patchy form and injury troubles during his first season in Glasgow, and both club and country are now reaping the rewards.

Bears will also be delighted to hear that Dalic has no knowledge of a desire from the player to move on at the end of the season.

Gerrard confirmed Serie A giants Roma had registered interest in the left-back during the January transfer window [Daily Record], but as far as his international boss is concerned, Barisic’s future lies at Ibrox.

With four assists and contributions to two clean sheets, Barisic starred in the group stages of the Europa League, and his qualities at both ends of the pitch will be key if the Gers are to defeat Braga across two legs.

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