'He's been living in Glasgow' - Exclusive: Whelan raves as Rangers agree terms of new deal
Noel Whelan has applauded Rangers for tying down Ianis Hagi to a permanent deal in advance of the summer transfer window.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and Aberdeen striker insists the Glasgow giants have done the right thing in getting his future at Ibrox secured after his half-season loan.
The Gers confirmed on Wednesday that they had secured the permanent signing of the 21-year-old after renegotiating the terms of their optional purchase clause with Genk.
🆕 𝐇𝐀𝐆𝐈 𝐈𝐒 𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐄! 🆕
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) May 27, 2020
The versatile winger initially joined the Gers late on in the January window, going on to play 12 times for the club this season.
With the deal done early, Whelan insists the Light Blues have done the right thing in giving both the player and manager Steven Gerrard security heading into the summer.
Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s really well done by Rangers because this is planning time – you’re planning back in January for the start of next season.
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“To get this done, he’s had a little taste of Ibrox, he’s been living in Glasgow for a little bit of time, now it gives the security to the player, security to Steven Gerrard who believes he’s a very good midfield player – and he is – that he’s got him on a long-term contract.
“This is part of the jigsaw that Steven’s got in place for next season, the rebuilding is starting right now because that season is finished, Celtic are champions, they’ve got to start rebuilding another team and another army to try and combat this Celtic surge that’s been going on for nine years.”
Hagi has netted three times, including a brace at home to Braga in the Europa League, and contributed a further two assists for Gerrard’s men across all competitions.
He is also an established member of the Romania national team, with 10 caps under his belt to date.