Hajduk Split sporting director Mindaugas Nikolicius thinks fans of the Croatian side will “love” Niko Katic after he returned to his homeland on a season-long loan, as he cleared up the confusion over the terms of the Rangers defender’s temporary move.

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While Rangers reported they had the option to recall Katic in the new year, the Croatians said they also retained an option to make his move permanent in the summer, and Nikolicius has confirmed both are in place.

The Hajduk Split chief also claimed there were “other offers” for Katic before he moved to Split, lauding the arrival of the central defender as a “big signing” for his side.

“The contract is a loan with the offer of a recall,” Nikolicius said [Daily Record]. “We can do the same, that’s the way these things happen in loan deals like this.

“Nikola had other offers. He is a big signing for Hajduk.

“A great defender who can get his way into the national team if he plays well for us and returns to the level he was at when he was with Rangers.

“He is feeling good and is fully fit. He has been in full training for several months already.

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“I think our fans will love him.”

Katic has only made one competitive appearance this season, turning out for Rangers B in their Challenge Cup win over Dumbarton, and was involved with the first-team in pre-season.

While there will no doubt be plenty of positive noises about how Katic has a chance to return to Rangers, he just needs to ask Ross McCrorie, Jamie Murphy or Greg Docherty how well going on loan worked for their Ibrox career.

If Katic does end up moving to Hajduk permanently last summer, there will be few players the Rangers fans will have wanted to see succeed than the defender.

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His injury came at the worst time possible last year and the subsequent arrivals of Leon Balogun and Jack Simpson meant the writing was on the wall for him at Rangers.

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