By Alex McLeish

2nd Jun, 2022 | 10:46am

McLeish issues emphatic Nikola Katic claim after speaking to Rangers employee

Alex McLeish has insisted Nikola Katic return to Rangers could help Giovanni van Bronckhorst avoid a “big headache” this summer.

The former Gers boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 25-year-old could play a big part for the Light Blues after his loan spell at Hajduk Split.

As reported by Football Scotland (24 May), Van Bronckhorst is set to give Katic the chance to impress in pre-season training, with his loan side unlikely to trigger their £3million purchase clause.

The defender, who is into the last year of his Rangers contract, has not played for the Light Blues since March 2020.

McLeish revealed he, and Rangers ambassador Richard Gough, are big fans of the Croatian centre-back.

He suggested Katic could offer good strength in depth at the heart of the defence.

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“There were times when I looked at Katic and I thought: ‘Yeah, he looks really promising,'” McLeish told football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“I spoke to Richard Gough as well a while back when Katic was playing. Richard quite liked the cut of his jib. He thought he was a decent player.

“It went a wee bit topsy-turvy for him. You’d think, having played at Hadjuk Split’s level, he’s obviously playing with good technical players. Can he come back? Of course. He’s a big lad who can cope with the hurly-burly of Scottish football.

“If he’s had that experience and he’s over all his injuries, it seems like it’s back to normal. It’s one they’ve already got in the bank. There’s one already kind of ready-made. Is he of the level of Rangers and the levels they’ve reached with European football?

“You would think that there is something there already on the books that could perhaps save them a big headache.”

In other news, expert claims Rangers may have ‘exceptional’ Itten replacement ‘lined up’ after news from Ibrox.