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Ianis Hagi’s arrival at Ibrox in January 2020 was a major coup and yet question marks surround his future this summer.

The much-awaited rebuild is well underway as Michael Beale rejuvenates the squad with the main aim of winning the Scottish Premiership title next season. 

Five players have already arrived in Kieran Dowell, Dujon Sterling, Jack Butland, Sam Lammers and Abdallah Sima, with the announcement of Cyriel Dessers understood to be imminent. 

The priority this summer has firmly been on arrivals but that focus will now turn to departures as Beale looks to trim his squad and generate money to invest in two or three more signings. 

Rangers are looking to sell several players this summer, including Scott Wright, John McLaughlin and, most notably, Glen Kamara.

However, it’s understood that the club will also listen to offers for a number of players, if the right offer arrives, and Hagi fits into that category.

There’s been reports that Lecce are keen to sign him this summer, while his profile will attract interest from clubs across the globe.

It’s imperative to stress that dubitation over his future isn’t an indictment on the Romanian international’s unquestionable ability, but he faces strong competition for regular minutes next season. 

Beale is expected to deploy the 4-3-1-2 formation that he favoured towards the end of last season and Rangers are well-stocked for attacking midfielders - Hagi’s best position.

In an exclusive interview with the Rangers Review in March, Hagi discussed his preferred role: “For me as a player, I’m more focused on my role than my position. If you play me out wide and tell me to run the line and beat players one-on-one all game, I don’t have that quality.

“Ok, there are times when I will run behind and read the game but my quality is not running on the side. 

“Earlier in my career, I played as a false No.9 in Romania and although my goal-tally wasn’t high I created lots of opportunities. It’s important for me that I know my role and my team knows my role.”

It’s well-documented that Beale has targeted hybrid players this summer, capable of playing in different roles to allow for a fluidity and an interchanging of positions during games. 

While Hagi’s skillset is best suited to the No.10 role within Beale’s preferred formation, the Romanian could also feasibly play as a No.8 in games that Rangers will be expected to dominate.

However, the squad is oversubscribed in those positions and that creates a problem for Hagi. Todd Cantwell is a guaranteed starter, while Lammers provides another quality option at No.10. 

Kieran Dowell and Alex Lowry offer depth, while Tom Lawrence is nearing a return from injury and likely signing Jose Cifuentes will be deployed as a No.8 - if his transfer is completed. 

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Hagi possesses the ability to compete for a starting role next season and a full pre-season will be essential to building up his fitness after missing over a year with a serious knee injury. 

He returned against St Johnstone in January but it was difficult to reintegrate him into the side during a packed schedule after the World Cup break and he didn’t start a league game until after the split. 

Hagi needed time to build his match fitness and those opportunities were limited and it was difficult for the talented midfielder to show his best level. 

There was a heartwarming moment against Hibernian at Easter Road in May when Hagi got on the scoresheet and his emotions were clear as he was embraced warmly by all his teammates. 

Beale commented post-match about the adversity Hagi had experienced and he hinted that the Romanian could play a role next season. 

He said: “Ianis Hagi is so professional, and works so hard. Football is his life and when that’s taken away from him like it was for a period, it was really cruel. 

“Living away from family and some dark days but the rehab team and physio have done well to get him back. 

“In the first half, he was a bit slow in moments but you could see after he got the goal that it brought him to life. 

“He’s still trying to get his fitness and match legs back at this level. It’s different training and playing in the reserve team game. 

“You can see from his teammates that he’s a well-liked member of the group and he’s a player that you’d expect more from next season.”

So what does the future hold for Hagi?

At 24, he will want to play regularly, especially after missing so much football through injury. His creative and technical ability could easily see him force his way into Beale’s plans, and if he can return to his best then Rangers would have a considerable asset on their hands. 

Hagi’s value was at its highest after his contributions during the 2020/21 season but that has dropped due to his injury problems. 

Rangers awarded him a new contract last season which runs until 2026 so they have protected their investment and shown their faith in the player. 

Rangers paid £3 million to Genk for Hagi and they’d hope to recoup that investment if he moves on this summer. 

Alternatively, a loan move could prove attractive for all parties - if he’s not guaranteed minutes - as it would allow Hagi to play regularly and a successful spell could boost his value and leave Rangers in a strong position next summer with two years left to run on his deal.