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Lovenkrands says Rangers will definitely challenge Celtic

Rangers' Barrie McKay is fouled by Alloa's Kyle McAusland in the area resulting in a penalty to Rangers

Mark Warburton has signed nine players for Ibrox side Glasgow Rangers - Brendan Rodgers has signed two for Celtic.

Rangers fans

Rangers legend Peter Lovenkrands has told BBC Sport that Celtic should be worried about the Gers this season, suggesting there was nothing between the sides before manager Mark Warburton heavily strengthened his team.

Warburton's Rangers are set for a long-awaited Scottish Premiership return after winning the Championship by some 11 points last season.

For large spells of last season there were claims that there may not be a huge gulf in class betweeen Warburton's side and Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Andy Halliday celebrates with Kenny Miller after scoring the second goal for Rangers

Those suggestions were given a little more credibility in April when Rangers beat Celtic on penalties to reach the Scottish Cup final, in a game which saw the Premiership champions had to come from behind twice in an epic 2-2 draw after two hours of football.

Since then, Warburton has significantly strengthened Rangers' squad by signing no fewer than nine players - including the likes of Niko Kranjcar and Joey Barton - in what's been an excellent transfer window for those on the blue half of the Old Firm divide.

In contrast, Celtic, now under Brendan Rodgers, have signed two players and it does not seem beyond the realms of possibility for Rangers to seriously threaten Celtic's bid for a sixth successive title this season.

Celtic's Nir Biton with Rangers' Danny Wilson at the end of the match

That is certainly the view of club legend Lovenkrands, who says that his former club will "definitely" challenge the Hoops, noting that if there was "absoutely no gap" in quality when the sides met at Hampden Park, then an improved Rangers should, in theory, have a good chance.

"I think they will challenge, definitely," said Lovenkrands to BBC Sport. "I don't see why not. They definitely have a good squad, they've added to it.

"There was absolutely no gap whatsoever [in April]. Rangers were dominant in certain areas, Celtic dominated at certain points.

"It's definitely going to be the team that's going to give Celtic a run for their money for this season."

Despite only signing two players, Celtic have signed two very good players, in 19-year-old French sensation Moussa Dembele, along with two-time Premier League champion Kolo Toure - and there might well be more to come.

Celtic fans as New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is presented after the press conference

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