Rangers could sign £5m Raskin partner who’s “like Ivan Rakitic”

Glasgow Rangers enjoyed a week-long mid-season training camp in the Spanish sunshine, yet it culminated in a 1-0 defeat to Hertha Berlin over the last weekend.

It was a friendly match and not too much should be read into it. However, the performance was below par and Philippe Clement will be hoping the team can improve as they face FC Copenhagen this evening at Ibrox in their final match before the domestic season returns.

The onus for Clement now is to spend the next two weeks seeking to improve his squad during the current January transfer window.


Several positions require some improvement, especially with six players out of contract come the end of the season.

With Ryan Jack and John Lundstram among those six, could the Belgian coach perhaps look to bring in another central midfielder this month?

Rangers’ search for another midfielder

Much has been made of the Light Blues’ search for a new left-back and striker, yet there have been a few midfielders linked in the last couple of weeks.

According to Football Scotland last week, the Gers have reportedly ‘checked on the conditions’ of Croatian gem Marko Bulat, who is currently playing for Dinamo Zagreb in his homeland.


The report goes on to state that Nils Koppen has sent scouts to watch Bulat in action for Zagreb recently as the Gers look to potentially make a move for the player.

There remains one stumbling block, however; the transfer fee. Zagreb value one of their prized assets at around £5m and this could prove to be too much for the Ibrox side to spend, especially in January.

Clement needs to be planning ahead due to the contract situations surrounding a couple of his midfielders, however, and this may mean he has to act sooner rather than later.


January transfer window: All the confirmed deals from England and Scotland

It’s shaping up to be a busy month…

Rangers players out of contract in 2024

Kemar Roofe, Jon McLaughlin, Borna Barisic, Leon Balogun, Jack and Lundstram are all free to speak to other clubs as of this month ahead of leaving for free this summer, and the majority of them will likely depart Ibrox.

The latter two are perhaps the players who deserve extensions, in particular Lundstram, who has shone under Clement this season.

Rangers: Contract expiries in 2024

Fabio Silva – Loan ends

Borna Barisic – End of contract

Leon Balogun – End of contract

Ryan Jack – End of contract

Jon McLaughlin – End of contract

Kemar Roofe – End of contract

John Lundstram – End of contract

Abdallah SIma – Loan ends

The former Sheffield United midfielder has started 17 of the 18 competitive matches under the Belgian and will remain a mainstay in the team until the end of the season at least.

If these two do leave Ibrox, Clement has the likes of Jose Cifuentes, Nico Raskin and even youngster Bailey Rice to call upon ahead of the 2024/25 campaign, but it could be Raskin who is ready to become a key player under the manager.

Jack Butland and John Lundstram

What the future holds for Nico Raskin at Rangers

The young midfielder made a solid impact upon arriving in Glasgow last January as he finished the season ranked third for tackles per game (1.8) and sixth for successful dribbles per game (0.9) as he demonstrated his tenacious nature and his ability to push forward often from the engine room.

This gave him a solid platform to work on ahead of the current season, yet an injury suffered against Hearts in what was Clement’s third match in charge of the club ruled the 22-year-old out for 14 matches and severely disrupted any progress he had made during the embryonic stages of the season.


Despite the setback, Raskin currently leads the way among the squad with regard to tackles per game (2.7) in the top flight, along with ranking seventh for accurate passes per game (39.4) which indicates how impressive he was prior to the injury.

What he needs now is a long-term partner in the heart of the midfield who could help elevate his game to new levels.

Signing Bulat from Zagreb could be an ideal player to partner Raskin with ahead of next season and their respective styles of play could compliment each other rather well.

How Marko Bulat would fit into the Rangers side

Like Raskin, Bulat tends to operate slightly deeper in the midfield, yet he can still offer a reliable attacking threat when required, evidenced by the fact he has scored five goals and grabbed three assists across 23 matches for his club this season.

Indeed, the 5 foot 10 midfielder currently ranks fourth among the Zagreb squad in the top flight for goals and assists (five) along with ranking fourth for shots on target per game (one) and sixth for key passes per game (1.3), which suggests he is productive in the final third for his team.

Croatians to play for Rangers




Antonio Colak



Nikola Katic



Borna Barisic



Niko Kranjcar



Nikica Jelavic



Dado Prso



Via Transfermarkt

Rangers Journal founder Kai Watson profiled the young sensation amid rumours linking him with a move to Glasgow recently, even comparing him to a young Ivan Rakitic, saying:

“From watching Bulat and looking at the numbers, he reminds me of a young Ivan Rakitić. He’s a box-to-box midfielder who is a very capable defender and a goal-scoring threat. Technically gifted and intelligent in and out of possession, hence the Rakitić comparison.”

This type of skillset could work wonders alongside someone like Raskin, who would be free to do the dirty work in the heart of the pitch and clean up in front of the defence, allowing Balut to utilise his box-to-box abilities and create chances for others.

It could end up being a frightening partnership, especially as the duo are both only 22 years of age, and they could be the future of the Gers midfield, without a shadow of a doubt.

Raskin will only get better the more he plays under Clement and with Jack and Lundstram potentially moving on this summer, there is a slot available alongside the former Standard Liege starlet, which Balut would slot into with ease.

If the Gers don’t make a move for him this month, they had better hope his performances don’t improve, otherwise they could face some stiff competition from plenty of other teams looking to secure his signature.

Much will depend on what funds Clement has to spend in the summer transfer window, yet with the wage bill set to be freed up by a sizeable chunk due to some departures, signing Balut should be his main focus.

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