Rangers defender Niko Katic could be set for a short-term Ibrox exit after Serie A side Spezia “expressed an interest” in the Croatian centre-back.

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Katic has only just returned from a serious knee injury that sidelined him for a year and faces a real fight for the regular minutes he needs after going so long without any football.

According to reports, Thiago Motta’s side could offer Katic the minutes he needs to force his way back into the first-team picture at Ibrox.

Rangers are likely to start the season with Connor Goldson and Filip Helander as the first-choice centre-back pairing, with the likes of Leon Balogun and Jack Simpson also looking for force their way into the side.

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After spending so long out, Katic can’t afford to spend long spells of this season watching from the sidelines and hoping to make the odd substitute appearance.

A move to Italy would be a fantastic opportunity for Katic and would really test the Rangers defender as he returns to playing following his injury.

Rangers aren’t exactly short of cover at centre-back so there shouldn’t be anything to stop the Light Blues from looking to get him out on loan.

The defender is a big favourite of Rangers fans though and few will want to see him leave Ibrox on a permanent basis.

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There’s no doubt over the potential Katic possesses but the Rangers defender’s year on the sidelines couldn’t have come at a worse time for his career.

The 24-year-old could make a fantastic long-term replacement for Connor Goldson but the next 12 months are going to be huge for him.

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