Michael Beale delivers Ryan Jack contract update as Rangers boss makes attacking midfielder prediction

The 30-year-old is set to be out of contract at the end of the season.

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Rangers boss Michael Beale admits he is eager to keep hold of Ryan Jack beyond the summer, insisting the midfielder is a big part of his long-term plans.

The Scotland international, who is out of contract at the end of the season, confirmed over the weekend that he’s still to begin negotiations with club officials over a new deal but is desperate to sort out his future.

The 30-year-old has been named in Beale’s first two starting line-up against Bayer Leverkusen and last Thursday’s Premiership encounter with Hibernian at Ibrox where he scored a second half equaliser as the Light Blues staged an impressive comeback from two goals down to run out 3-2 winners.

Ryan Jack equalised for Rangers during Thursday's victory against Hibs in the cinch Premiership.Ryan Jack equalised for Rangers during Thursday's victory against Hibs in the cinch Premiership.
Ryan Jack equalised for Rangers during Thursday's victory against Hibs in the cinch Premiership.

Jack, who joined from Aberdeen in the summer of 2017 and could come up against his former club at Pittodrie tonight, declared he loves pulling on the Rangers jersey but doesn’t feel he needs to prove his worth to the club following several injury problems in recent years.

He stated: “I haven’t spoken to the club, there’s been nothing so far. I’m just going to work hard, get my head down, play my football and whatever happens will happen. Is it hard to put it to the back of your mind? Well obviously, it’s your life.

“I have a young family and things outside football so your contract situation determines where they’re going to be. I just need to focus on playing for Rangers week in, week out and see what happens. I’ve been here five years and, without doub,t I’m settled and love playing for this club.

“But I’ve not had a conversation with anyone. When that comes, we’ll sit down and see what the plan is for the future. Obviously, you want t have your own future secured. It any player tells you otherwise they’re talking nonsense. You always want to have it secured and know where you are, so you can plan ahead. But sometimes in life and in football it doesn’t work out like that.

“Sometimes the manager can have that conversation with your or Ross Wilson. I think I’m old enough now that I can be approached and I can speak. Then i’ve got my agent to sort out contracts and stuff like that. But it’s nowhere near that at the minute. I’ll just try to stay fit, work as hard as I can and give it my all until the end of the season.”

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Beale confessed he is keen to tie down Jack, who was pivotal to Steven Gerrard’s side that clinched title number 55 in 2021, on fresh terms.

He commented: “In playing Ryan in the first game and him scoring against Hibs, he is doing everything he can. But obviously I showed what I think of Ryan by selecting him in my first game. In the last few months, for different reasons, Ryan has not always been available so at the moment he is just focusing on enjoying his football and being available.

Rangers manager Michael BealeRangers manager Michael Beale
Rangers manager Michael Beale

“He was asked a question and he answered it honestly and I will as well. At this moment in time Ryan Jack is in the best eleven players at Rangers. Why wouldn’t you want to keep Ryan Jack?”

Meanwhile, Beale confirmed the returning Ianis Hagi will have a vital role to play when he makes his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury. The Romanian international has been ruled out of action for almost a year after sustaining a serious ACL problem in a Scottish Cup win over Stirling Albion last January but he has started to step up his recovery in recent weeks.

Hagi is expected to join in full training next month and Beale is thrilled with the player’s progress. He commented: “Ianis will play a big role when he’s fit. He’s a player I have a lot of belief in. I think he’s a very good player in this league.

“I’d say (we can expect him back) mid to late January. He’s in light training with the group, unopposed at the moment doing a lot of work in isolation in terms of building his fitness.

“He’s been out for a year, there’s a lot of muscle loss and things like that he has to work on before returning. It’s great for the group that he’s out there, he’s very well-liked and if we can get him back towards the back end of January/start of February we’ll be delighted because he’ll be available for the last 15 to 18 games of the season.”