Rangers loanee Ianis Hagi is better with both feet than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were at the age of 21, says fellow Romanian and former highly-rated youngster Marian Aliuta.
Goal has learned that those at Ibrox are closing in on a £4.5 million ($6m) permanent deal for the Genk youngster after seeing him catch the eye in Scotland.
They are not the only ones looking to put an agreement in place, with Lazio being linked with a move to take the ex-Fiorentina starlet back to Italy.
Hagi’s stock will continue to rise once football resumes after the Covid-19 lockdown, with three goals recorded through 12 appearances so far.
The son of former Barcelona star Gheorghe has shown in Scottish Premiership and Europa League competition that he boasts the creative qualities to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Aliuta believes Hagi could go on to grace the very top of the game, with his development progressing at a greater pace than Messi and Ronaldo managed at the start of their respective careers.
“Neither Messi nor Ronaldo hit the ball so perfectly with both feet when they were Ianis’ age,” Aliuta told DigiSport.
“That’s his big advantage. His technical skill with both feet is incredible. Although he’s not the quickest, his positional sense is excellent too.
“He’s a really smart player, but he must be allowed to grow and improve at his own rate without too much pressure being put on him.
“Everyone will obviously compare him to Gheorghe because he has this famous name on his back. But that won’t make him a success on its own.
“He knows he can’t take the name for granted. The more matches he plays and the more experience he gets, the better he will be for it.
“There’s no question he will grow enormously and have a great career.”
Scottish giants Rangers snapped up Hagi on a six-month deal during the winter transfer window.
Steven Gerrard has given the youngster domestic and continental stages on which to shine and would welcome the opportunity to get a permanent deal wrapped up during a coronavirus-enforced break in competitive football.