DORIN GOIAN could return for Rangers at Annan Athletic next month after his Italian club Spezia confirmed he is no longer needed.
The Romanian defender is on a season-long loan at the Serie B side, but got into hot water with the Italian football authorities last month.
He contested an 88th- minute winner for Juve Stabia in a 3-2 defeat so strenuously, he manhandled referee Maurizio Ciampi, who promptly sent him off –the second time he's been red-carded since his return to Italy.
Goian was handed a bumper four-match ban by the Italian Federation Disciplinary Committee who ruled that he had "tried to intimidate the referee".
That was the final straw for ambitious Spezia, and their sporting director, Nelso Ricci, launched an amazing attack on Goian insisting he'd been 'my biggest disappointment, not up to the level we expected'.
Now Spezia have announced they want to keep Goian for their four remaining games this year in Serie B.
But after the match on December 30, when Italy start their winter break, he is free to return to Rangers.
And they have already brought in Swedish defender Richard Magyar from Halmstads to replace him.
A Spezia spokesman said: "We expect Goian will return to Rangers next month."
That means the defender, who is contracted at Ibrox until the end of next season, could make his Third Division return for Rangers at Galabank shortly into the new year.
Goian joined Rangers last summer after a two-year spell at Palermo and made 35 SPL starts last season.