Rangers have decided not to exercise their recall option on defender Nikola Katic, according to Football Scotland’s Mark McDougall.
Katic joined Croatian side Hadjuk Split on loan in the summer, having missed the entirety of the title-winning campaign after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture.
The deal included a January recall clause as well as a £3million option to buy.
Rangers are set to be down a centre-back next month with Leon Balogun named in the Nigeria squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.
£1.44million-rated Katic could have offered an experienced option in his absence, having made 59 appearances for The Gers. Indeed, former manager Steven Gerrard described him as a ‘winner and a warrior’.
“[I] understand Rangers have no plans to recall Nikola Katic in the January transfer window,” McDougall wrote.
The player is expecting to remain in Croatia until the end of the campaign, though he hopes to return to Ibrox thereafter.
Rangers have been so impressed with the performances of Calvin Bassey at centre-back that they don’t see a need to bring Katic back mid-season.
Rangers could perhaps come to regret their decision if they’re hit by injuries next month, but it’s an understandable call.
Bassey has now started the last seven Premiership games as a centre-half, and Rangers are on a run of six without conceding a single goal.
He’s been a key part of that, consistently delivering performances that earn a seven out of 10 or better from statistical experts SofaScore.
Katic, who was once compared to Cristiano Ronaldo after an ‘unbelievable leap and an unbelievable header’ in the Old Firm in December 2019, may even find that Bassey’s form shuts the door on the long-term Rangers future he craves.
In other news, could Rangers possibly sign a new CB?
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