By Tom Blackburn

Former Celtic winger David Provan has said Rangers won’t win the title if Celtic buy well this summer.

Provan spent eight years at Celtic as a player and believes the embarrassing loss to Lincoln Red Imps last week could be a blessing in disguise.

In his column for the Scottish Sun, Provan said the result allows boss Brendan Rodgers to demand money from the club hierarchy led by chief executive Peter Lawwell.

“Sounds crazy to say it, but Celtic’s embarrassing defeat to a part-time Gibraltar outfit is a better result for Brendan Rodgers than Mark Warburton,” Provan wrote.

“In the week Rangers made their ninth new signing, Rodgers can now put Peter Lawwell up against the wall for serious transfer cash.

“Don’t be fooled by Brendan’s demeanour. No soft touch, he isn’t in Scotland to have his reputation trashed.

“With no disrespect to Aberdeen or Hearts, this will be another Old Firm battle for the title.

“Thanks to Warburton’s coaching nous and judgement of the transfer market, Gers should be in a position to give the champions a run for their money.

“But Rangers’ title chances will depend on Celtic’s ambition in what remains of this window. Having paid top dollar to bring Brendan north of the border they have to back him now. Good players cost good money and this ‘Tic side needs better footballers.”

Rangers won the Scottish Championship title with ease last season and gained automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership for the 2016-17 campaign.

Of Rangers nine new signings there are a number of big names with Premier League experience, including Joey Barton, Clint Hill and Nico Krancjar.

In comparison Scottish Premiership giants Celtic have made just three signings to help bolster their squad this summer.

The marquee deal was signing forward Moussa Dembele, 20, who chose Celtic ahead of Premier League clubs after leaving Fulham on a free.

Midfielder Kristoffer Ajer, who is 18 years of age, has also joined the league champions, having agreed a pre-contract with the Hoops back in February.

In other Celtic news, they will lodge a new bid for a 27-year-old and Rodgers is confident it will be accepted.