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Rangers: Ross Wilson set for AFCON talks

Rangers: Ross Wilson set for AFCON talks -Rangers News

Rangers are hopeful of reaching an agreement with the Nigerian FA that will allow Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey to feature against Celtic in January, according to The Sunday Mail.

The lowdown

Rangers are due to travel to Celtic Park for what will be the season’s second Old Firm on 2 January.

According to FIFA rules, clubs should release players who have been called up for the Africa Cup of Nations on 27 December. That would mean Rangers would lose the aforementioned trio for the trip to their Glasgow rivals.

But Nigeria are not due to kick-off their AFCON bid until 11 January, when they face Egypt.

Aribo has started nine of Rangers’ SPFL matches so far, Balogun eight and Bassey four. All three players feature in the Gers’ top seven performers up to this point when you go by WhoScored‘s data.

Steven Gerrard raved about Aribo last week, hailing him as an ‘outstanding’ player and ‘a joy to watch’ before confessing that Rangers will ‘be lucky to keep him’.

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Rangers fans, how well do you know your gaffer! What number did he wear on his debut for Liverpool?

The latest

Rangers are thought to be confident that they can strike a deal with Nigeria, delaying the trio’s arrival in the camp until after the derby.

Ross Wilson and Steven Gerrard are hoping to take advantage of the strong relationship they have built with the Nigerian Football Association in the negotiations.

The verdict

After a slow start, Celtic have rattled off three successive wins to move within four points of Rangers. By the time January rolls around, this fixture could well have a season-defining air about it.

And it would be a huge blow to Rangers’ chances if they had to go without Balogun and Aribo.

They seem to be optimistic, having cultivated those good relations. But if the African associations push for a uniform release date in the interests of sporting integrity, then that could count for a little.

In other news, Jordan Campbell says this January move is possible

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Article title: Rangers: Ross Wilson set for AFCON talks

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