Celtic want to muscle Rangers out of two signings from south of the border this summer, Football Insider understands.
Neil Lennon’s side are eager to beat their bitter Glasgow rivals as well as English clubs to the captures of Charlton midfielder Joe Aribo and Bolton Wanderers sensation Luca Connell.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider the club have an interest in signing Aribo, 22, and Connell, 18, with both rising stars out of contract this month.
But they fear the greater resources and financial strength of the Scottish treble winners will blow them out of the race to land the in-demand duo.
Both clubs have a degree of hoping in landing Aribo, with Football Insider revealing this week that the goalscoring midfielder has snubbed Charlton’s attempts to tie him to a contract extension.
He has suitors from across the Continent on the back of a breakthrough campaign in which his 10 goals and five assists helped propel Charlton to promotion to the Championship.
Connell is being chased by multiple clubs as well as he prepares to quit financially-stricken Bolton Wanderers for what would be a compensation fee.
Cross-border rules give Celtic and Rangers an advantage over English clubs keen on the versatile 18-year-old, who can play in defence as well as midfield, as they can sign him for around £300,000.
As revealed by Football Insider, Wolves had been leading the race for the rising star, who is regarded as one of the best talents in his age group.
In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that Aston Villa have set their sights on signing long-serving Ibrox star.