America was Glasgow Rangers' turf but have Celtic now seized the initiative?


America's top talents once flocked to Ibrox, although Rangers' fierce rivals Celtic could be their club of choice in future.

America was Rangers' turf wasn't it? Its players once flocked to Ibrox, while more were in line to follow, according to comments made by Mark Warburton last summer.

The Gers boss told Sky Sports he had spoken to "a couple of targets" during the club's pre-season tour of the United States, with Niko Kranjcar, then of NASL side New York Cosmos, presumably one of them - although no others arrived at Ibrox.

How Rangers would love another like him, or, going further back, more Reynas, Bocanegras, Beasleys or Edus.

Maurice Edu - Rangers in action against Dundee UnitedMaurice Edu (left) moved to Rangers in 2008 from Tornoto FC

Despite its bad press - retirement league, etc, etc - America and, in particular, MLS's reputation as an exporter of talent is on the rise, as proved by the recent transfers to English football of DeAndre Yedlin (£2m to Tottenham) and Matt Miazga (£3.5m to Chelsea).

And at those prices, it is a market in which perhaps even Scottish clubs can compete. The problem for Rangers, however, is that their fierce rivals Celtic seem to have clocked on.

It would appear the Bhoys have already wooed Darlington Nagbe, who was spotted at last week's Champions League defeat to Barcelona, while Cyle Larin has also been linked with a move to Parkhead (FourFourTwo USA).

One an energetic central midfielder, the other a clinical centre-forward, these are players who would almost certainly improve Rangers right now. The Gers' name is yet to be associated with either, however, while their rumoured interest in Fanendo Adi (Allnigeriasoccer), a teammate of Nagbe at Portland Timbers, appears to have to nothing.

With Celtic - for the time being at least - Scottish football's dominant force, Rangers would be wise to conquer the lesser-scoured markets as they seek to close the gap.

America is one of them. The Bhoys, however, may have seized the initiative.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates winning the final with the trophyCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers holds aloft the Betfred Cup

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