Football

'It Would Just Ignite Everything Again'

'It Would Just Ignite Everything Again'

The Old Firm was never a rivalry which required fanning of the flames. Even though meetings between Rangers and Celtic over recent years have been sporadic, tensions between the two sides should be red hot when they renew their league encounters next season.

What could add extra fuel to the fire is the addition of two combative characters - Roy Keane and Joey Barton.

Keane is one of the favourites, along with Brendan Rodgers and David Moyes, to succeed Ronny Deila.

Over the weekend, it emerged that Barton may not be returning to the Premier League with Burnley as expected. The midfielder's contract with the newly-promoted side is up this summer and he is yet to agree a new deal. He could instead make the move to Rangers. The 33-year-old was at Rangers' training ground on Saturday and is rumoured to be considering a two-year deal worth £20,000 a week.

The possibility of Keane and Barton being thrown into the Old Firm mix has former Rangers boss Alex McLeish salivating.

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McLeish, who earlier this month was sacked by Egyptian side Zamalek, was speaking to the Glasgow Evening Times.

It would just ignite everything again. It would be putting Rangers and Celtic really on the map again because Scottish football has missed Rangers badly and I think everyone is relishing seeing them back in again.

Of course it’s a statement of intent. Rangers are not coming back to consolidate. They are coming back to try to beat Celtic and win the league. That’s where you are judged.

People feel Celtic are ahead of Rangers in terms of quality, but I don’t think there’s a big difference at all. I before the cup game the gap was pretty close and if Rangers are bringing in the likes of Joey, then Celtic are going to have to react. That’s going to make it more exciting for everybody.

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PJ Browne
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