By David Woods

23rd Aug, 2018 | 10:47am

Exclusive: Celtic and Rangers set for late summer battle over in-demand Championship player

Old Firm duo Rangers and Celtic and Aston Villa are chasing Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall on loan, Football Insider sources understands.

Scottish giants Rangers and Celtic are both looking to bolster their defensive options before the transfer window closes in Scotland at the end of the month and have been alerted to Worrall’s possible availability.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are understood to have made an enquiry to Forest about taking Worrall on loan, while Celtic are readying a move to ease their defensive issues.

Celtic are in the market for defensive reinforcements as speculation continues to surround the future of Dedryck Boyata with a number of foreign clubs chasing the Belgian’s signature.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on Worrall after his ending his side’s interest in Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna following their bid of £3.5million was rejected by their SPL rivals Aberdeen.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce is understood to be a big admirer of Worrall and he sees him as someone who could fill the void left by John Terry’s departure at the end of last season with Mile Jedinak currently playing alongside James Chester at the heart of Villa’s defence.

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Worrall, who was the subject of a £10million offer from Burnley last January, has dropped down the pecking order in Aitor Karanka’s first-team plans at the City Ground.

The 23-year-old has not figured for Forest at all so far this season and is effectively fifth-choice centre-back at the City Ground behind the likes of Danny Fox, Tobias Figueiredo, Michael Dawson, Michael Hefele and Jack Robinson.

Forest are willing to loan out Worrall so that he can maintain his value if he not going to be playing regularly for Karanka this season and they are now weighing up which club is the best option for the England Under-21 international.