THE price tag of £5million that is on Malik Tillman’s head can be viewed in two ways. Rangers have a decision to make but it is the one that the man himself comes to that will either put the ball in their court or take the call out of their hands.

The unique way in which Tillman’s arrival from Bayern Munich was structured is a credit to Ross Wilson, the former sporting director, and put Rangers in a strong position. The fee for a permanent move was set last summer and his parent club have a clause that would allow them to buy Tillman back again – at a higher price than Rangers have in black and white – should they believe that he can make the step up from Ibrox to the Allianz Arena.

Sources in Germany have detailed Bayern’s satisfaction at how the move has worked out for Tillman and the Bundesliga giants – now managed by former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel – are understood to be encouraged by the development of a talent that was signed alongside his brother, Timothy, from Greuther Fürth eight years ago.

The Herald: Rangers Malik Tillman celebrates scoring his teams second goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match

Bayern have been closely monitoring Tiilman’s form over the course of the campaign and have watched the playmaker in person. It was a leap of faith to allow Tillman to continue his development in Scotland but the creative structure of the initial arrangement, plus the chance to work with Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Roy Makaay, the legendary Bayern striker, convinced all parties of the merits of the move.

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From Tillman’s perspective, it was all about the game time and what club would offer him the best chance to progress and improve over the course of the season. He is a quiet, unassuming character, but those that have worked with him speak of his love of the game, how football is a passion rather than merely a career and his managers and team-mates this term have repeatedly been fulsome in their praise of the American internationalist.

Tillman has expressed his appreciation for the platform that Rangers have given him and previously pinpointed the mentality and physicality of the game here as key components that he had to work on. In that regard, Tillman has ticked all the boxes this term.

But the situation is not a guaranteed win for Rangers ahead of a campaign that must deliver the Premiership title and domestic silverware and the future of Tillman will go some way to shaping the work that Michael Beale undertakes in the coming weeks and months. There will either be a considerable chunk taken out of the Ibrox budget or a significant gap in the Rangers midfield.

It is expected that Tillman will report for pre-season duty with Bayern later this summer and will have the chance to prove his worth at the Allianz Arena. Given the depth of options that Tuchel has in those attacking midfield berths, there is every chance that Tillman may find his opportunities too limited next term and that will open the door for interested parties.

One train of thought is that Tillman is worth every penny. As an investment, it is almost buying money and Rangers, if they are smart in the market and with Tillman’s development, could make a sizeable profit on a player that is only heading in an upward trajectory in the coming years.

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Tillman’s value will increase if he is part of a side that is successful domestically under Beale's tutelage.

If he can perform on the European stage, his next move would take him back to one of the biggest leagues on the continent and Rangers will be rewarded for their initial investment three, four or five times over on a player that was an unknown quantity when he arrived at Ibrox.

The other side of the debate is that such an outlay this summer cannot be justified, no matter how prominent Tillman has been over the course of the campaign and no matter how pivotal he could be for Beale’s side at home and abroad.

The impact that the 20-year-old has made this term has been thoroughly impressive. With a full season at Ibrox under his belt, he is all-but guaranteed to improve technically, tactically, physically and mentally once again and build on the foundations that he has laid in recent months.

It has been a campaign of 12 goals and five assists, one of sustained praise, many plaudits and stand out moments. From the towering header against Union Saint-Gilloise to the dazzling run in the win at Motherwell, Tillman has been a game changer and a match winner and his influence in an underperforming side speaks volumes for his talent.

The Herald: Malik Tillman

He has been largely ineffective in the Old Firm encounters, though. The League Cup final passed him by without a contribution of note, his influence in the Premiership fixtures has been muted and the injury that forced him off at Hampden on Sunday came as he was still trying to make his mark against Celtic.

Tillman has spoken appreciatively about what his time at Ibrox has done for his career and he has a strong relationship with his manager. This season could well prove to be the making of the midfielder but there is every chance that it will not, such is the way with acquisitions of this nature, be Rangers that reap the rewards of his development.

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If Beale only needed to add one or to players to his squad to turn them from challengers into champions then a fee at that level would not be an issue. But such is the scope of the work that must be completed, it is hard to make a case for Tillman being a priority bit of business this summer.

Rangers need additions in every area of the park and every pound that is spent must be maximised as Beale transforms a squad that has failed once again this season. This is not a window of tweaking the team and sparkling some gold dust on it, but one where Beale must rip it up and start again in terms of quality and quantity.

It was a leap of faith for Tillman to move to Rangers in the first place. It would be an even bigger one for him to commit his future to Beale for the long term and that could render any other debate irrelevant as Tillman and his representatives assess his options heading into an important summer.

The Herald: Malik Tillman of Rangers celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the game during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Heart of Midlothian

In one sense, Rangers will pay the price for their own success in developing Tillman. He will go on to make his name and forge his career and the £5million fee will seem like a missed opportunity sooner rather than later.

On the other, it is their failure that will ultimately cost them on the park and on the balance sheet. Tillman could have been the final piece of the jigsaw but Beale has too big a puzzle to solve right now.

Tillman has been good for Rangers and Rangers have been good for Tillman. Once again, like it has been too often in recent seasons, it is a case of what might have been at Ibrox.