Sources: Rangers work on beating Tottenham to loan-to-buy Lepinjica deal
Rangers are working on beating Tottenham to the signing of Croatian midfielder Ivan Lepinjica, Football Insider has learned.
The Rijeka central midfielder, 21, has been on the radar of Premier League clubs but they have been put off by his injury troubles.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that has opened the door for Rangers and they are keen on luring Lepinjica on an initial loan deal with an option to buy.
That would enable Rangers to assess the Croatia Under-21s captain at close quarters for a season while reducing their financial burden.
The Glasgow giants signed Bongani Zungu on an initial loan last summer with an option to buy at around £2.5million.
The club announced earlier this week they would not be taking up their option as they bid farewell to the South Africa international.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Like Zungu, Lepinjica is a defensive midfielder who is highly regarded and has attracted interest from elite clubs.
They include Tottenham, who were previously keen on signing him last year.
The 6ft 3in anchorman would have been expected to have made the Croatia squad at the Euros had he not missed a big chunk of the 2020-21 campaign due to injury.
He accumulated just 533 minutes of playing time for Croatian top-tier side Rejika in the recent domestic season.
Rangers are in the market for a holding midfielder who can provide competition for the likes of Ryan Jack and Steven Davis.
Jack, 29, has been hampered by knee problems and underwent a calf operation in April that ruled him out of this summer’s Euros.
Davis was outstanding as Rangers romped to the 2020-21 title but he is 36 and is out of contract in the summer of 2022.