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Borna Barisic transfer latest as Rangers left back remains committed despite Leeds United links

Borna Barisic has pledged his loyalty to Rangers and remains 
hell-bent on trying to stop Celtic winning 10 in a row.

The Croatian left-back had a storming season last time around that led to him attracting interest from across Europe.

Italian giants Roma and AC Milan have both kept a close eye on him while reports in England suggested Leeds were planning a summer swoop after promotion to the Premier League.

Record Sport understands Barisic, 27, isn’t interested in moving this summer.

He signed a new deal in January that ties him to the Ibrox club until 2024 and there are no plans for him to leave any time soon.

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Barisic has turned himself into a key player for Steven Gerrard’s side over the last year, having struggled to make an impact in his first campaign.

He’s now also a first choice for his national team and would likely have played in the Euros this summer had it not been pushed back until 2021 because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Rangers could hand a debut to Cedric Itten tomorrow although Ibrox fans may have to wait a while longer to see Kemar Roofe in action.

Gerrard signed the pair earlier this week with Itten coming off the back of an impressive end of season with St Gallen while Roofe hasn’t played in 2020.

Itten only just wrapped up his Swiss league duties, blasting four goals in a 7-0 final-day rout of Neuchatel Xamax, last week.

But Roofe has not featured since injuring his calf while playing for Anderlecht in December.

And Gerrard said: “Cedric is ready to go. He’s trained fully today so he’s available for Sunday.

Borna Barisic transfer latest as Rangers left back remains committed despite Leeds United links science 第2张 (Image: Rangers fc)

“But as for Kemar, we’re monitoring his situation as the game might come a little bit too soon. He still needs a bit of conditioning.

“I’d say he is still a week to 10 days behind the squad in terms of general fitness.

“We’ll continue to speed him up but St Mirren might be a bit early.”

Gerrard may also have 
to hand new keeper Jon McLaughlin a competitive debut against the Buddies with No.1 Allan McGregor struggling after Rangers’ defeat by Bayer Leverkusen in Germany. The Gers boss said: “Allan’s going to be looked at by the medical team, we’ll make a decision in the next 24 hours.”

Meanwhile Leon Balogun has admitted stresses at the bottom of the English Championship are unlikely to come close to the pressure facing Rangers.

The Nigeria defender spent five months at Wigan battling relegation and still feels a sense of injustice after seeing them plunged into chaos when they went into administration last month.

It is credit to Balogun and his team-mates they took their fight for survival all the way to the final day.

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But Balogun knows it will likely take the same kind of gritty effort from his new side if Rangers are to put the brakes on Celtic’s quest for a record-breaking 10th straight Premiership title.

He said: “I thought about the pressure I’ll face here compared to at Wigan not too long ago.

“It’s similar I’d say but with the size of this club and the expectation you will get to feel a bit more frustration than maybe you would getting relegated at a different club.

“Do I feel an injustice about what happened to Wigan? Definitely. I’m sad as I really enjoyed my stay.”

Balogun is still adjusting to his Glasgow life but already the message from the Light Blue legions has been heard – Celtic must 
be stopped.

He added: “Over social media you get an idea but it’s not the reality. But I think Rangers’ ambition is pretty clear. I’ve read a hashtag – ‘Stop the 10’, something like that. The number 55 is a big one, too. That’s a pretty clear goal.”

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