Rangers star Ianis Hagi is clear that he wants to go to this summer’s Olympics in a dilemma which mirrors a similar situation that resulted in the end of one Gers legend’s Ibrox career.

Romanian talent Hagi, 22, is available for selection at this summer’s Tokyo games but because it is technically a youth tournament (u23s) Rangers can prevent him from going.

Romania vs Germany: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Romanian international Ianis Hagi wants to go to the Olympics in a situation which presents a dilemma to Champions League chasing Rangers. (Photo by Alex Nicodim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Given travelling to the tournament will clash with Rangers’ Champions League qualifiers and the millions of pounds they could possibly herald, the Gers have clear motivation to keep Hagi around.

Whilst a decision has not been made regarding Hagi’s participation in the tournament, the Ibrox kid is clear he would prefer to head to the Far East.


“I want to play at a tournament like the Olympics,” said Hagi [Glasgow Live].

“It’s something unique. I probably won’t get a chance like this any other time in your career.”

“It’s clear I want to go. Unfortunately, we, the players, are in a situation where it does not depend on ourselves.

“Personally, I have made it very clear to the club I want to play at the Olympics, but I don’t yet have a clear answer from Rangers.”

Back in 2004, Ibrox captain and Australian international Craig Moore, then 29, was selected as one his country’s three over 23s picks for the Athens Olympics.

Rangers, eager to have the influential player involved in key Scottish Premier League and Champions League qualification matches, were reluctant to let him go.

Then ensued a notorious club v country battle which saw Alex McLeish transfer list Moore and the defender stripped of his captaincy before the Aussie moved to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Olympische Spiele Athen 2004

Then Rangers captain defied club orders to go to the Athens Olympics in 2004 with Australia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Rangers will also be wary of much transfer interest surrounding Hagi in this very similar scenario the likes of Lazio £9m move [Gazzetta dello Sport] and other big European clubs such as Sevilla and RB Leipzig credited with interest [Daily Record].

Hagi is also one of the most marketable and influential figures in Romanian football and his absence from the squad – combined the with the player’s international ambitions – may cause friction.

Not that Hagi has ever suggested he wants to leave Ibrox in the near future, even if there is one club he has in his sights.

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