Rangers have regularly been linked with a move for Wigan Athletic striker Kyle Joseph in recent months, but it would appear as if the Ibrox outfit have suffered a setback in their hopes of signing him, as their Old Firm rivals have stolen the march on signing him.
According to the Daily Mail (via The Sun), Celtic are closing in on his signing, and are set to conclude a pre-contract deal which will see the 19-year-old move to Parkhead, with the League One strugglers entitled to a compensation fee.
Rangers were reported to be in for the teenage striker, who has impressed in his performances with Wigan this season, despite them currently occupying a relegation spot in England’s third tier.
In 14 league appearances for the Tics, the in-demand forward has managed five goals and one assist, which has seen him average an impressive 6.80 rating.
Therefore, it is no surprise that big sides such as Rangers were taking an interest in the striker as he looks destined for a big future in the game.
Joseph’s former teammate Kai Naismith was full of praise for the youngster earlier in the season, telling Wigan’s official website:
“He’ll be a top player, a really, really good player and he works his nuts off, not just in the games but all week in training as well, he has a great appetite for the game and a great attitude.”
Considering he would have been available for a small compensation fee, it is a shame that Rangers’ sporting director Ross Wilson didn’t work faster to try and bring Joseph to Ibrox this summer, as it looks as if he will now be making the move to their Old Firm rivals instead.
Steven Gerrard could be set to lose two strikers from his squad this summer, as both Jermaine Defoe and Greg Stewart’s contracts are set to expire, so adding Joseph would have been a smart decision in order to add some more squad depth at Rangers.
Therefore, it comes as a big blow for the former Liverpool legend that Joseph seemingly won’t be joining the Champions elect this summer, as he could have been a great addition to his championship winning squad.