Scottish Premiership rivals Celtic and Rangers want Jarrad Branthwaite but it seems that Newcastle have an advantage.

Rangers and Celtic could both be left grasping at thin air in their pursuit of Jarrad Branthwaite as Newcastle United have a first refusal option on the highly-rated Carlisle United centre-back, according to the Northern Echo.

Despite only breaking into the Cumbrians’ first team in October, he already has clubs on both sides of the border lining up a January swoop.

The 6ft 1ins defender is very much in the modern, ball-playing mould with his poise in possession and excellent reading of the game expected to make Carlisle at least £1 million if he is sold in the New Year.

The Northern Echo reports that Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers are interested. The Hoops’ director of football Nick Hammond even made a personal trip to Brunton Park to check out Branthwaite in person, according to the Scottish Sun.

But Newcastle have an ace up their sleeve.

The Magpies obviously spotted something shiny in Carlisle’s squad when they allowed Danish striker Elias Sorensen (below) to join the League Two outfit on loan over the summer and, according to The Echo, they have agreed a first refusal option on Branthwaite.

So regardless of whether Celtic or Rangers put a seven-figure sum on the table, the Glasgow giants will be blown out of the water if Newcastle decide to take a punt on one of the Football League’s rising stars.

In other news, Report: Norwich want £50m for Ben Godfrey amid Newcastle and Tottenham links