Rangers could now sign the £5 million-rated Nicolas Raskin on a free transfer with contract talks breaking down and Standard Liege coach Ronny Deila admitting that the midfielder ‘won’t play or train’ with the Jupiler League outfit anymore, per HBVL.
To think, only a couple of weeks ago, one of the brightest talents in Belgian football admitted that he was open to the idea of signing a new deal at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne.
How times have changed
“He will not play or train with us anymore,” former Celtic boss Deila said on Sunday after talks between Standard Liege and Raskin collapsed like a house of cards in hurricane season.
“It’s a shame for everyone. But it’s a situation where there is no win-win It got more political and the club had to make a decision,” the coach adds, via RTBF.
“I spoke with Nico. He is disappointed on one side but he knew it could happen. The club did everything to keep him. I haven’t seen the offer, but I’ve heard about it. I don’t know if it’s a question of money or rather an opportunity for him to leave.”
RANGERS COULD LAND NICOLAS RASKIN FROM STANDARD LIEGE
Raskin’s departure, then, is more a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’. His contract expires in the summer, so one suspects Standard would rather cash in now rather than lose their prized asset for nothing later down the line.
According to DH Net, The Reds were demanding around £5 million over the summer. It’s unlikely that Standard would be able to command such a lofty fee these days. Either way, Rangers should be watching developments like a hawk as one of Europe’s most exciting young midfielders edges ever closer to free-agency.
A hard-running, all-action, jack-of-all-trades sort of a midfielder, Raskin is both a ball-winner and a ball-player. A dribbler and a distributor.
“He’s monstrous,” Deila said recently of a man who could add some much-needed thrust and speed to an ageing and rather one-paced Rangers midfield.
“We’re talking about a leader. His level is constantly evolving. I am proud of him because he has improved a lot. Before, he was a much more emotional player whereas now he is much calmer and more disciplined on the field.”
According to Het Laaste Nieuws, Standard offered Raskin a new deal worth £30,000-a-year. Not ‘a week’ but ‘a year’. Far, far less than he could expect to demand at Ibrox, for instance.
“If there is no respect, you have to leave the table,” Raskin writes on Instagram, barely bothering to hide his dissatisfaction.
“(I am) very disappointed. But not surprised.”