Niko Katic has been confirmed as option to buy by loan club Hadjuk Split, which contradicts Rangers’ confirmation of recall option.
Or does it?
As we explained yesterday, most loan deals of a year or longer include a recall option, and it’s fairly standard to protect the lending club in case of injuries.
That’s right, it’s not in case the player excels, it’s in case there are serious injuries, the parent club has the right to request the player back to cover for those lost personnel.
And with Rangers’ bad luck with injuries (Helander, Balogun, Tavernier and even Jack) it’s prudent to veer on the side of caution with ensuring we can recall Katic should any other injuries sprout up.
But the major catch is the £3M option to buy. We don’t know if it’s mandatory, or just option, but the fact this is included would have been a mutual decision. It protects Rangers’ investment and gives us £1M profit, and it gives Split the chance to sign a player that they believe will improve them.
There was no mention of this clause in Rangers’ statement – we wonder if that was a choice made to avoid upsetting fans who had hoped to see Niko being part of Rangers’ future.
We just don’t know exactly, and can only speculate based on the evidence at hand.
A lot of fans still hold out hope Katic will feature again in our shirt one day, but we have major doubt.
Why? Because his contract with us ends next summer year – he’s signed till 2023, two further years, and that £3M clause indicates the club would be delighted to profit on a player in the last year of his contract next summer.
It’s a shame, but it’s almost certainly just the way it is.
Many fans would love to see Helander and Katic as the partnership at the back, but as long as Stevie is boss and Goldson is in our shirt, he will always start.
And that’s just the way it is.