As Ianis Hagi struggles to break back into the Rangers team, major doubts surround the midfielder’s role amid exit links to Lecce in Serie A.

Whilst those reports of £3.5m interest from Apulia have cooled in recent weeks, they suggest the Romanian playmaker’s stock remains high on the Continent.

And whilst Michael Beale spoke positively about a deeper lying role for Ianis Hagi in pre-season, it’s clear the Rangers boss doesn’t quite trust the returning midfielder as things stand.

Ianis Hagi spent a year on the sidelines following a devastating cruciate ligament injury which massively disrupted his progress at Rangers.

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Emerging as a key player for the Gers, and showing up in some big moments, under Giovanni van Bronckhorst there were hopes Hagi could grow into one of the club’s top performers.

Being slowly reintegrated back into the match day squad last season, Ianis Hagi was emotional after getting a comeback goal in a win over Hibs.

But now the Romanian is struggling to even get off the bench for Rangers with Michael Beale not quite trusting the 24-year-old during a tense start to the campaign.

Doubts over Ianis Hagi’s Rangers role

Ianis Hagi got two minutes in the first leg of Rangers’ Champions League QR3 clash with Servette but wasn’t trusted to unlock Kilmarnock in the Premiership opener.

Rangers manager Michael Beale also turned to the likes of Abdallah Sima and Rabbi Matondo to finish off a stubborn Livingston, whilst the attacking midfielder didn’t get off the bench in a tense return in Switzerland.

Combine this with the fact that Rangers now have a plethora of options between midfield and attack, Ianis Hagi competing with Todd Cantwell, Sam Lammers, Rabbi Matondo and Abdallah Sima for a place, and some will be wondering just how the Romanian fits into Beale’s thoughts.

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In midfield, the addition of Jose Cifuentes, the emergence of Nicolas Raskin and the leadership credentials of both John Lundstram and Ryan Jack pose obstacles to breaking into a less recognisable deep-lying role.

After such a devastating injury, Ianis Hagi needs the proper care and approach to return but perhaps most importantly, he needs a guarantee of minutes.

With those links to Lecce lingering, it begs the question surrounding the former Genk star with two weeks left to convince Michael Beale he can contribute this season.

Or for Beale to convince Ianis Hagi there is a place for him in his Rangers squad.

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