Rangers Manager Michael Beale Raises Concerns About Ianis Hagi’s Future at Ibrox Stadium

Rangers manager Michael Beale has raised questions about the future of Ianis Hagi at Ibrox Stadium, suggesting that the Romanian midfielder might be considering a departure due to his growing dissatisfaction with limited playing opportunities in the current season.

Hagi made a cameo appearance from the bench during Rangers’ recent 2-1 victory over Morton in the Viaplay Cup. However, his struggle to secure a spot in the starting lineup has been evident since his return from a year-long hiatus due to a knee injury. Following the match, Hagi openly expressed his frustrations, indicating his desire for regular first-team action. He also clarified that he didn’t feel the need to prove himself at Rangers after his extended absence.

In a significant development, Beale has unveiled the final squad list for the upcoming two-legged Champions League play-off clash against PSV Eindhoven. In this context, Hagi’s name has been excluded from the roster, and his place has been taken by Rabbi Matondo.

As anticipation builds for the first leg against the Dutch club, Beale addressed the press and acknowledged the possibility of Hagi’s departure, responding to questions prompted by the player’s post-match comments over the weekend. Beale shared, “I’ve no issue with Ianis. I think as he put in his own words, he’s happy when he’s playing football and he’s missed football for a year. He wants to play week in, week out as a starter, so it may be that between now and the end of the window we look at that.”

Beale also recalled his initial interactions with Hagi after his year-long rehabilitation, mentioning, “I thought he did well when he came into the game at the weekend. Me and Ianis spoke after three or four days of pre-season. He missed a year. I brought him back into the team against Partick Thistle last year very early into his rehab and it was very clear at that moment he wasn’t ready.”

The manager went on to discuss Hagi’s current fitness level and the honest conversations they’ve had, stating, “Over the summer he’s worked very hard to be fit. I wouldn’t say he’s at optimal fitness right now and I think the conversation has always been very honest.”

Beale emphasized that Hagi’s aspirations to be a consistent starter are in line with the player’s ambitions. However, he also highlighted the competitive nature of the team, noting, “His desire is that he wants to be a main starter and play every game. No one has that guarantee here at Rangers. He’s competing with Todd Cantwell for that role and maybe Sam Lammers and one or two others. Tom Lawrence is now returning.”

Reflecting on the ongoing discussions about Hagi’s future, Beale mentioned the deliberations taking place, saying, “So it’s now about what does Ianis need after being out for a year. Those conversations and options are what Ianis and his agent have been looking at for the last week or so. In the background there’s been a lot going on.”

As speculation surrounds Hagi’s future, his potential departure from Ibrox remains uncertain, while fans and observers await further developments in the ongoing saga.