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8 players including Jordon Ibe Celtic and Rangers could target in free transfers

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The impact of Scottish football's shutdown will be felt for some time, with clubs seeing budgets squeezed by the coronavirus crisis.

Clubs will still be looking to improve their squads this summer, but the financial strain means securing bargain signings will be more important than ever.

With Celtic going for a 10th title in a row in 2020-21 you can bet Neil Lennon will be looking to add some quality additions.

And with the aim of stopping the dreaded 10, Steven Gerrard and Rangers cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

With budgets being slashed across Europe, there are plenty of high profile free agents looking for a club.

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And while it's unlikely we'll be seeing Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Thiago Silva in the Premiership next season, here are eight players who could be on the radar.

Jordon Ibe (Image: PA)

Former £15million man Ibe has been released by Bournemouth, and has already been linked with a move to Celtic.

Still only 24, the winger should have plenty of resale value if he can recapture his best form.

It's the Hoops who have been linked but, with Ibe having come through the youth ranks at Liverpool, could Gerrard be keeping an eye on him too?

Scott Dann

(Image: PA)

At 33 Dann's best days may be behind him, but with more than 200 English Premier League appearances under his belt he could surely do a job north of the border.

As a former Liverpool season ticket holder you can bet the centre-back would love to play under Gerrard, but it's Celtic who could do with some depth at centre-back.

Kris Ajer and Christopher Jullien are a fantastic first choice pairing, but after Jozo Simunovic's exit Lennon may want more options.

Dann would be a reliable backup choice and wouldn't cost a penny in transfer fees but his wages would certainly be sizeable.

Hatem Ben Arfa

There's no question that Ben Arfa is a wildcard, but there's also no denying he has bags of talent.

The French international is out of contract at Vallodolid this summer and would definitely represent a gamble.

However, he showed at Rennes that he's more than capable of delivering when he feels loved and appreciated.

Ben Arfa is exactly the kind of maverick the Celtic Park crowd loves and if Lennon could keep him on the straight and narrow he'd still be one of the best players in the Premiership.

Ladislav Krejci

Left wing has proved to be something of a problem position for Rangers in recent seasons.

Neither Jordan Jones nor Brandon Barker convinced last season, and while Ryan Kent is clearly a long-term investment he's not an out-and-out winger.

While the former Liverpool youth will always be one of the first names on the team sheet, Gerrard may want a more traditional winger for certain matches or if Kent plays more centrally.

Krejci would certainly fit that bill, and at 27 the Bologna man should just be coming into his prime.

A Czech international, he has faded in Serie A after a promising start.

Krejci is a skillful and direct player who can also fill in at left-back, and would represent a shrewd signing.

Another option would be to play him on the right and allow him to cut in onto his left, something Greg Stewart struggled with in his few appearances last season.

Ki Sung-Yeung Ki Sung-Yeung

Lennon is not a manager who is afraid of re-signing players he's worked with in the past.

Last summer saw Fraser Forster return from Southampton, while attempts were made in January to bring Victor Wanyama back to Glasgow.

Ki played 87 times for the Hoops before moving to Swansea, winning the title under Lennon in 2011-12.

Despite having over 100 caps for South Korea he's still just 31 and would surely relish a return.

Ki has struggled with injuries, but if he could stay fit he'd be a handy and familiar option.

Jack Colback (Image: Getty Images for Premier League)

Colback is versatile and technically sound, as well as not being afraid to put in a tackle. He's also a free agent after being released by Newcastle.

The 30-year-old could be a potential target for either half of the Glasgow divide, but it's perhaps Rangers who would benefit most from his signing.

The midfielder would be a perfect alternative to Steven Davis, who will turn 36 in January.

Colback was once nicknamed 'The Ginger Pirlo', which might be a bit strong, but he'd certainly add creativity and quality to the Rangers midfield.

Lucas Biglia (Image: International Champions Cup via)

He may be 34 now, but Biglia remains a classy operator.

The Argentine is out of contract at Milan this summer, and while he might want to return to his homeland he'd be a sensational signing for either of Glasgow's giants.

Biglia has played in the World Cup final for his nation and made more than 150 Serie A appearances, so would bring top-level experience as well as quality.

He'd command big wages, but his creativity would improve either side - and if he joined Celtic it might allow Callum McGregor to get a rest now and then.

Chris Martin

With links to Lyle Taylor and Lyndon Dykes, it's clear Rangers are out to sign a physical striker this summer.

While both are good options, Martin could be another potential name on the shortlist. He's not fashionable but Gordon Strachan was a big fan.

The Scotland international isn't the most mobile but he offers a battering ram quality that Jermain Defoe and Alfredo Morelos can't.

Martin isn't hugely prolific, but he's hit double figures for Derby this season and could be a fine backup option.




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