Rangers have stolen a march on fierce Old Firm rivals Celtic by opening talks with Charlton Athletic midfielder Joe Aribo, according to the Daily Mail.
Both Scottish giants have previously been linked with the player by The Scottish Sun, but this latest development would appear to give Rangers an edge.
The 22-year-old helped Charlton win the League One play-offs during 2018/19. He netted 10 goals and registered five assists throughout the campaign.
Gers boss Steven Gerrard has now opened talks with the youngster, however, and will hope to pip Celtic to Aribo’s signature.
Rangers finished nine points behind Celtic last season and will hope to close that gap during 2019/20.
Gerrard has already bolstered his squad with the signings of Jake Hastie from Motherwell and Jordan Jones from Kilmarnock.
It would now appear that he is keen to ramp up his interest in Aribo, given that he has pressed ahead with speaking to the player.
Aribo looks set to enjoy a bright future in the game if his form for Charlton over the last 12 months is anything to go by.
The youngster is a quick trickster who likes to contribute goals to the team. It is certainly no surprise that Celtic and Rangers are going head-to-head for his services.
A chance to play European football could be a big factor in deciding Aribo’s next move.
Rangers and Celtic could both offer that, but the chance to learn from Gerrard might play into Aribo’s thinking too.
The Gers boss was a master of his trade during a glittering playing career and as a midfielder himself, Aribo might view that aspect as too good to turn down.