One of the most interesting late links of Rangers’ transfer window came from Eastern Europe as the Gers were linked with a Red Star Belgrade raid for Mirko Ivanic.
Free-scoring attacking midfielder Ivanic looks like a solid prospect on paper; his 16 goals and 12 assists helped fire Red Star to an unbeaten season in the Serbian top flight.
Not only this, but the 27-year-old Montenegrin international has scored goals in Champions League qualification the last two seasons, even if the Serbian outfit have failed to make the Group Stages.
In total last season, Ivanic managed 20 goals and 16 assists from an attacking midfield option, contributing 36 goals in total.
Hypothetically, this looks like a creative, direct, free-scoring option who’d add technique, ability and most importantly, goals, to the Ibrox side.
You can forgive some supporters for getting pretty excited amid reports of a £3m bid from Rangers as the transfer window wound to a close [Mozzart Sport].
For an international player with such sizeable pedigree, you may think this is a low-risk amount given Ivanic’s spectacular return at a decent level.
But much of this interest – which initially was reported as being attractive to Red Star – concerns the fact that Mirko Ivanic is in the final year of his contract.
This means that the old balancing act of sides like Red Star and Rangers between selling lower than market value or losing on a free contract comes into play.
Reports then emerged that Ivanic was set to sign a new deal at Red Star [Sportska Centrala], seemingly all but ending the interest.
However – and this is where things get interesting – at the time of writing Ivanic is yet to sign a new contract with Red Star Belgrade.
According to Informer, the situation is very far from being ironed out even if it is a “priority” for the hierarchy of the Red and Whites.
That report claims that Red Star are hoping to secure Ivanic on a new deal earning €600k (£515k) per year – that’s €50k (£43k) per month or €11.5k (£10k) per week.
Rangers are in a stronger position to offer the player more and as we enter the second half of the season the Ibrox club will be free to negotiate with Ivanic.
We’ll keep an eye on this but if the Gers were to snatch the player on a free-contract, then Red Star director Zvezdan Terzic is in no doubt that it’d be a major coup.
“I am extremely glad for him, he showed that he is top-class,” said Terzic [Espreso].
“He can easily play for teams of the highest calibre, such as AC Milan.”
Meanwhile, a former Rangers star has claimed he’s “disappointed” to see the Ibrox club miss out on a deal for a leading Scottish Premiership talent.