Rangers face Premier League ‘battle’ for rising star as Celtic ‘edge closer’ to international defender

Celtic and Rangers both face battles across Europe as the transfer window edges closer

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Celtic and Rangers are once again taking the Scottish Premiership by storm with Rangers just under 20 points clear of Hearts sitting in third place.

Rangers most recently triumphed over their Old Firm rivals as they progressed in the Scottish Cup, beating Celtic 2-1 before beating Motherwell 3-1 with 10 men.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst will then concentrate his squad’s attention to the Europa League semi final, which takes place tomorrow (Thursday 28 April) when they take on RB Leipzig.

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Ranger’s star goalie Alan McGregor said in the press conference: “Well, it’s going to be (one of my greatest moments) Three and half years ago I don’t think anybody thought we’d qualify for the groups, and then each year we have progressed.”

Celtic will however keep their minds focused on pushing for Champions League qualification for next season, as they sit firmly at the top of the Premiership, six points clear of their nearest and fiercest rivals.

With the second phase underway and the end of the season in sight, both managers will begin to focus on how they can best strengthen and fortify their teams for the 2022/23 campaign.

Iraq international makes noise ahead of possible Celtic move

Reports from SunSport claim that Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is currently keeping tabs on the £2 million Iraq defender Mohanad Jeahze.

Jeahze currently plays for the Swedish side Hammarby and has insisted he is only willing to leave the current leaders of the Swedish league if it is for a bigger club.

When asked about a potential move to Scotland, Jeahze said: “I can’t say much about that. I’ve always been very clear. If I am going to leave Hammarby it will be for something better than Hammarby. I love it here in Hammarby.”

The 25-year-old’s teammate, Darijan Bojanic has also spoken on what a talent his Hammarby colleague is: “He’s class. There is no better left-back in all of Sweden.

“He’s better than the left-backs in the national team too.

“It’s how he is with the ball and his ability to run up and down the field all the time. He always makes good decisions.

“Mohanad’s passing is central to us on the pitch. He’s class right through.”

Initially unsure of whether he would play for Sweden or Iraq, the 25-year-old defender made his formal debut for Iraq in a 1-1 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification tie with Syria.

Rangers ready for Premier League transfer battle

The Scottish Daily Express have claimed that Aberdeen’s Lancelot Pollard is on Rangers’ radar, but they are not the only ones after the Dons youngster.

Liverpool and Manchester United have reportedly shown interest in the teenager who is yet to sign his first professional contract.

Pollard has recently made a name for himself in the youth set up over the past few years and Rangers will hope to snap up the opportunity for him to join the Gers academy as soon as possible.

Alternative found for Benfica winger

Celtic have an option to buy Jota who is currently on loan to Glasgow from Benfica, but the deal is of course dependent on the player’s desire to make the move permanent.

The DailyMail have since reported that if a deal with Jota fails, the Premiership leaders have an alternative option in Ola Solbakken.

Celtic initially turned down the opportunity to sign the Norwegian last summer but reports from the Daily Mail and Daily Record have suggested that they will ‘rekindle’ this interest if Jota returns to Portugal.

After his side’s win over Ross County, Jota spoke to Sky Sports saying: “Not a chance am I thinking about next season. I am just enjoying it day by day…

“As a football player, you need to keep your mind on the pitch, that’s all that matters. Bureaucratic things are for others. Please just let me enjoy my football.”

Solbakken would hardly be a bad alternative for the Parkhead side after helping his club Bodo/Glimt to bolster title ambitions in 2020/21 as well as scoring twice in his side’s famous 6-1 win over Roma in the UEFA Europa Conference League in October 2021.