MEDIA pundits Michael Stewart and Alex Rae have become involved in a furious twitter spat over Rangers’ finances.
The pair clashed over the question of the Ibrox club being able to afford the £5million asking price for Ianis Hagi who joined Steven Gerrard’s side on loan from Belgian side Genk in January.
According to suggestions from a Romanian journalist, it appears a permanent deal for the 21-year-old Turkish-born forward is edging closer to completion. And later today there were reports the deal had been FINALISED.
That news appeared to mystify former Hearts and Hibs midfielder Stewart who wrote: “I see some media reporting that Rangers are closing in on a £5million signing of Hagi.
“Can anyone explain how the club lost £11million, was needing £10million to see the season out, then Coronavirus hit, has deferred huge amounts in wages, but can be linked with a £5million signing.”
One-time Gers midfield man Rae sought to explain the situation. Along with the words: “Afternoon Michael, this might help you with your concerns”, he cut and pasted a clip from a recent Q and A with Ibrox interim chairman Douglas Park.
In it, Park answered a lengthy question relating to the aforementioned £10million shortfall and the implications of the club being “without important tranches of income for nine months”.
BLUE HEAVEN…Ianis Hagi celebrates scoring against Hibs at Ibrox.
He insisted that the “funding gap referred to” and had already “been filled by existing investors”.
The extract also included a reference to potential investment from Far East-based businessman Stuart Gibson, who had been thought to be close to investing a significant sum in the club shortly before coronavirus pandemic struck in mid-March.
Park said: “All of the potential new investors remain fully engaged and we will be in a position to announce something in the next couple of months.”
Stewart, however, was far from satisfied and replied: “Alex, the answer doesn’t even cover the question posed below, never mind the other queries I had.”
The social media debate came after Romanian journalist Emanuel Rosu claimed that the move was nearing completion, regardless of interest from other clubs.
He wrote on Twitter: “Ianis Hagi’s move to Rangers on a permanent deal is in the final stages of settlement.
“Like I told you two weeks ago, the player’s wish was to play for Rangers no matter what offer comes his way.”
In a twist to the tale, Romanian agent Giovani Becali insisted the deal had been completed – at a £4million fee, £1million sort of the original figure.
He told the Daily Record: “Ianis has just signed for one of the most important clubs in Europe. The deal is complete.
“I would describe Rangers as the Juventus of Scotland. I understand completely why Ianis has chosen to sign for them.
“They are an extraordinary club.
“The most important thing is that Rangers have carried out their option to buy him and he now has peace of mind about his future for the next few years.
“He has done very well at Rangers, but there was always the worry that they wouldn’t want to sign him up.
“But I know he has a very good contract there in Glasgow and this is a really smart move for him.”
Hagi still had four years left to run on his contract with the Belgian club.