Celtic's potential Chancel Mbemba swoop would take the shine off Rangers

Celtic fans show their support during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Celtic FC and Bayern Muenchen at Celtic Park on October 31, 2017 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Rangers are reportedly close to luring Martin Skrtel to Ibrox - but Celtic could reportedly pay big for the Newcastle United defender Chancel Mbemba.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is seen during a training session at Lennoxtown Training Centre on April 27, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

It seems a little strange to say after Celtic sealed a second successive domestic treble but there are a number of positions in Brendan Rodgers’ squad which need some reinforcement. And centre-back must be at the top of the list.

But there are surely few better options available to the Scottish Premiership champions than Chancel Mbemba.

According to The Chronicle, Newcastle United look set to sell the 23-year-old centre-back, who looked the real deal initially after he arrived from Anderlecht in 2015 for £8 million before finding game time hard to come by under Rafa Benitez.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea is tackled by Chancel Mbemba of Newcastle United during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Chelsea and Newcastle United on January 28, 2018 in London,...

But he has the talent and potential to be a truly outstanding addition for Celtic – and one that would perhaps take some of the shine off Rangers’ marquee summer signing.

The Scottish Sun state that Rangers have agreed a £2.7 million fee with Fenerbahce over the signing of Martin Skrtel, the 33-year-old former Liverpool defender set to be reunited with his one-time Anfield team-mate Steven Gerrard at Ibrox.

Skrtel, however, is coming towards the end of his career and his best days are well behind him. Yes, the Slovakian skipper would offer experience, leadership and a ferocious mentality but there would certainly be a case to make that Celtic’s deal for Mbemba would be more impressive.

Chancel Mbemba of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Barnsley at St James' Park on May 7, 2017 in...

The Congolose powerhouse is obviously a more long-term option, 10 years Skrtel’s senior, but he has huge potential that is just waiting to be tapped into by Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman has a habit of taking players to new levels, see Moussa Dembele, Raheem Sterling, Kieran Tierney and Scott Sinclair, and Mbemba has the ability to quickly become the best defender in Scottish football.

Celtic would be signing a player on the up – while the only way for Skrtel may be down.

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