Steven Thompson has told BBC Sportscene that he believes Rangers have mirrored Celtic’s model in the transfer market with the permanent signing of Ianis Hagi – after it was confirmed Hagi had signed a long-term deal.
Hagi, 21, has put pen to paper on a permanent deal worth £3.5million – as per The Times – after endearing himself to the Ibrox supporter during his initial loan spell at the club, in which he scored three goals and created two more in 12 games.
Celtic’s recent model of transfers has seen them buy young, future stars with plenty of talent and sell them for big numbers. Moussa Dembele went for £20million, while Kris Ajer and Odsonne Edouard are current examples.
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has bought players that can improve the Gers right now – but would hardly go for a bigger price than initially signed. Thompson, though, reckons Hagi is a sign that Rangers could be mirroring Celtic’s transfer model.
“It is a really good signing for a player with massive, massive potential,” Thompson said. “When you look at Celtic’s model over the years in terms of selling on talent, Hagi is certainly someone that comes into that category.
TBR’s view – Is Hagi a sign that Rangers might be about to copy Celtic?
Or is it simply that Hagi can win matches by himself, as Thompson says, and is capable of creating and scoring goals out of nothing? On the face of it, it is the latter – but more examples of his type of signing may see the Gers show they are changing.
Celtic’s transfer model is working but the Scottish champions have also benefitted from a number of consecutive years of Champions League qualification – allowing them to spend to initially sign the likes of Virgil van Dijk and others.
Hagi is a top, top signing that could bring in an eight-figure fee in the future. But whether Rangers are about to start mirroring Celtic’s model, seems a long way away.