Rangers awaiting verdict over New Year derby availability of African Cup of Nations-bound trio Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey and Leon Balogun

Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey and Leon Balogun are all expected to receive call-ups to the Super Eagles squad for the African Cup of Nations

Rangers are awaiting notice over whether they will have their three Nigerian internationalists available for the New Year derby with Celtic.

The Ibrox club are hoping to delay the departure of Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey and Leon Balogun - until after the Old Firm clash on January 2 at Parkhead.

Nov 13 - Sierra Leone (h); Nov 17 - Sierra Leone (a)

The Light Blues trio are likely to be included in the Super Eagles squad for the African Cup of Nations, with the first match taking place on January 11.

It appeared Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s prospects of having his first-team stars in the squad to face the Hoops had suffered a blow earlier this week after Nigeria Football Federation sacked manager Gernot Rohr ahead of the Cameroon showpiece.

The German had previously stated that he wanted his team assembled fully at least ten days before the start of the tournament but hinted Aribo, Bassey and Balogun could delay their arrivals until after facing Ange Postecoglou’s men.

Technical director Augustine Eguavoen has been placed in temporary charge and the Scottish champions face an anxious wait to discover if he will let that decision stand or order the players to fly out early.

Losing all three players for the second Old Firm clash of the season would be a massive setback to Giovanni van Bronckhorst with Aribo a standout performer for the Gers so far this term.

Balogun, currently sidelined through injury, strolled through the previous meeting between their Glasgow rivals in August, while Bassey has performed admirably in an unfamiliar centre-half role in his team-mates absence.