Jackie McNamara has claimed Rangers have a big advantage over Celtic in the race to sign Charlton Athletic midfielder Joe Aribo – but only for the next week.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Scotland legend claimed Steven Gerrard’s side are in a stronger position than their rivals to make a contract offer to the London-based ace because they have a manager in place and firm transfer plans established.
A source close to Aribo has told Football Insider the two Scottish big hitters are both interested in recruiting him this summer but they lag behind favourites Frankfurt in the race for his signature.
The 22-year-old midfielder has earned rave reviews for his performances in central midfield that have helped propel Charlton to the League One play-off final this weekend.
“I saw him the other night in the match (League One play-off semi), he looks strong and quick and looks a good prospect,” McNamara said. “The big thing for Rangers is they can do certain things while Celtic need to wait till after next week.”
Asked which of the two Glasgow giants is a bigger pull ahead of next season, McNamara said. “It depends on what the lad’s promised. Just now, if he’s getting offered a contract at Rangers it’s different because the manager’s in place.
“If Neil’s the manager at Celtic it’ll be him speaking to him, trying to get him, or a new manager comes in, so it depends on how quickly everything gets done but again, I think this time next week – I’m not saying everything will be done and dusted in terms of having a manager in place – but we’ll certainly be a lot closer to doing it.
“The advantage to Celtic – they have got the qualifiers for the Champions League, they’re champions, they’re a bigger attraction than Rangers, things like that.
“Obviously what they can pay as well in terms of a transfer fee and salary, so there’s no doubt Celtic have got the advantage financially.”
Aribo, 22, has shot to prominence at Charlton on the back of a campaign in which he has scored 10 goals from midfield for the team this season.
The Addicks academy product is out of contract this summer and has snubbed offers of an extension.
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