By Wayne Veysey

16th Mar, 2018 | 11:01am

Rangers must hijack Celtic bid to sign available EFL powerhouse as bid underway

COMMENT By Richard Parks

Rangers must hijack Celtic’s attempt to sign Barnsley defender Andy Yiadom this summer.

Football Insider revealed today that the Scottish champions are to launch a bid to sign the Barnsley defender after he rejected the offer a new contract at the Championship club.

Rangers must blow their bitter rivals out of the water and beat them to the signature of Yiadom, 26, following a huge improvement in their recruitment and contract approach in recent months.

Yiadom, 26, is a right-back, which is a bigger problem position for Celtic due to the struggles of stalwart Mikael Lustig than it is for Rangers, who have the outstanding James Tavernier in that position.

Nevertheless, there is no senior back-up for the Englishman, bar the versatile but mediocre Lee Hodson, and Rangers should look to get one over their Glasgow rivals by landing the one-time Ghana international on a free transfer.

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Yiadom has done it the hard way, learning his trade with Barnet and Braintree at non-league and League Two level before nailing down a regular spot in England’s second tier with Barnsley over the last two seasons.

He has come on leaps and bounds in recent years to become one of the highest-rated right-backs outside of the Premier League with some commanding displays at Oakwell.

Yiadom’s pedigree is such that he was set to join Swansea City last summer only for the deal to collapse at the last minute because the paperwork was not completed in time.

He got over the disappointment of the failed transfer to the big time by getting his head down at Barnsley, and there is widespread interest in his services ahead of the summer.

Yiadom has turned down the offer of a new contract and his imminent free-agent status is highly attractive.

Rangers transfer negotiator Mark Allen will need to be persuasive, as his club cannot offer Champions League football, but they are a team on the up with a passionate fanbase and the ambition to knock Celtic off their perch.

Signing a defender who can hit the ground running in the SPL would be a brilliant move, and further demonstrate the desire at Ibrox to get back into the big time.

In other Celtic news, Peter Lawwell is one step ahead again as the Scottish champions open talks to agree deal with giant and get him signed.

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