Ianis Hagi: Rangers sign son of Romania legend Gheorghe on loan from Genk

Ianis Hagi in training with Rangers
Ianis Hagi has joined in his first Rangers training session

Ianis Hagi is "one of the best talents in Europe at Under-21 level," says Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, after the Romania midfielder became the club's first January signing.

He joins from Genk on a six-month loan, with Rangers having the option to buy.

The 21-year-old is the son of Barcelona and Real Madrid great Gheorghe Hagi, widely regarded as Romania's greatest player, but Gerrard played down comparisons between the two.

"We have to be patient," he said.

"He will come into the squad with caution. We're all aware of the name on the back.

"I'm sure he will continue to do that name very proud, but it's important people don't expect his old man to walk through the door and to produce performances like he did in the World Cup, which got me off the couch.

"Ianis is a player with huge potential so to finally get it done late last night was very pleasing. I'm delighted. We're talking about one of the best talents in Europe at Under-21 level."

Hagi s ready to make his Rangers debut in Saturday's Scottish Premiership meeting with Aberdeen after arriving in Scotland on Thursday to conclude his move before Friday's deadline.

He insists he feels no extra pressure to live up to the family name, and says he knows all about Rangers from his dad, who played at Ibrox on European Cup duty with Steaua Bucharest and Galatasaray.

"One thing for sure is that I'm proud to wear this name," he said. "It's a pressure I was born with so I've got used to it. I use it as a motivation to get better.

"It's a great honour to be here at this club with these amazing fans and huge history. I couldn't decline the opportunity to work with the coach and this amazing team.

"My father told me about the games he played at Ibrox and many things about this club. I already knew a couple of them. I know what kind of club I've joined and I'm really proud to be here."

Hagi, born in Turkey, played 24 games for Genk after signing from Romanian top-flight outfit Viitorul Constanta for £4m last summer.

The attacking midfielder, capped 10 times for his country, had returned to Romania to help Viitorul finish third last season after two years with Fiorentina during which he made two appearances for the Italian side.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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