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‘Like De Bruyne’: Potential £7m Rangers deal even more exciting than Aaron Mooy

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If Giovanni van Bronckhorst was praying that complacency would set in at Celtic following Ange Postecoglou’s outstanding debut campaign at Parkhead, then the double-signing of Aaron Mooy and Moritz Jenz on Tuesday saw those hopes go up in a cloud of foul-smelling smoke. 

Signings six and seven of the summer, the Premiership champions are strengthening from a position of strength. Reinforcing a title-winning squad with a number of high-quality additions in a variety of positions.

And Mooy, a player Postecoglou knows like the back of his hand from their time together in the Australian national team, looks, on paper at least, like one of the most inspired, pound-for-pound additions in recent Scottish football history. 

It’s not often a footballer of such guile, experience and class is available to a side with Celtic’s relatively meagre budget, after all. The Hoops have taken advantage of Mooy’s free-agent status – and his desire to return to British shores – by signing the former Huddersfield and Brighton string-puller on a two-year deal. 

Rangers must respond to Celtic’s Aaron Mooy deal

Now, the ball comes bouncing into Rangers’ court. How do Celtic’s Old Firm rivals respond to a signing that threatens to widen last term’s four-point gap between the two Glasgow giants?  

Well, look no further than Darius Olaru. 

Photo by Flaviu Buboi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

“He in very good shape,” former Hungary ace Vasile Miriuta told Playsport recently of the FSCB playmaker. “At this age, he should play abroad. I’m talking about a top team. He is in the best shape of his career.” 

“(Olaru) seems to me a player too good for Romania,” adds the one-time Liga 1 ace Eric de Oliveira. “He does both phases; Defensive and offensive. He scores, he passes.” 

Mihail Stoica, the long-time FCSB chief, even goes as far as to suggest that Olaru is ‘like Kevin de Bruyne at Manchester City’. High praise indeed. And while Olaru is obviously not at the same sky-high level as City’s Belgian master, a tally of 12 assists and six goals for the club formerly known as Steaua Bucharest last season proves that there is an efficiency to Olaru’s play. A ruthlessness to go with the style and the skill. 

Rangers’ very own Kevin de Bruyne?

According to ProSport, Rangers watched Olaru in the flesh earlier in the summer. FCSB chief Gigi Becali has since admitted that he would accept a bid in the region of £7 million for the 24-year-old Romania international.

Such a fee would make Olaru the joint-second most expensive signing in Rangers’ history, alongside Ryan Kent. The Athletic say that funds are available, however, following Joe Aribo’s £10 million move to Southampton. Ajax, meanwhile, have agreed a near £20 million deal for Calvin Bassey. What’s more, reinforcements in central midfield are high on Rangers’ to-do list. That is despite the arrival of Tom Lawrence from Derby County.

While Olaru would obviously not come as cheap as Mooy, he is far younger and offers a greater potential and re-sale value. And if he possesses even a shred of De Bruyne’s defence-splitting potential, then that £7 million fee will be quickly repaid with interest. 

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