McAvennie throws weight behind Gerrard after 'really disgraceful' Rangers claim
Frank McAvennie insists Rangers are right to stop Ianis Hagi from travelling to the Olympic games with Romania.
The former Celtic hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, backed Steven Gerrard’s decision to stop Hagi from going to Japan.
If Hagi takes part in the tournament, there is a chance he could miss Rangers’ Champions League qualifiers.
The qualifiers are at the start of August and Hagi will miss those games if Romania make the last stages of the Olympic tournament.
Romania manager Mircea Lucescu fumed at Gerrard’s decision and labelled it “really disgraceful” (Glasgow Live).
McAvennie claims club sides should take precedent over international duties but he can understand Lucescu’s frustrations.
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“I’ve never understood why international football gets first choice,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.
“The club pays the wages. I get that it’s good to play for your country but Gerrard is right on this one.
“It’s ridiculous how international sides can do what they want with players. I get that the manager is annoyed.
“Stevie might need him, if he lets him go and there are injuries what is he going to do?
“Maybe they could work something around Hagi being able to fly back if Gerrard needs him.
“Whatever happens, Rangers should decide what happens with their player.”
Hagi won the Young Player of the Year accolade at Rangers’ end of year award ceremony last week.
He scored eight goals and picked up 15 assists in all competitions this season.