Scottish Premiership rivals Celtic and Rangers already faced a challenge landing Atletico Madrid’s Rodrigo Riquelme – now they must beat a La Liga giant.

Real Madrid have joined the race to sign Rodrigo Riquelme, according to El Desmarque – which might just be a hammer blow for Celtic and Rangers’ hopes.

Before you all pipe up and ask aloud why on earth Atletico would let one of the most talented young midfielders in European football make a controversial move across the Spanish capital, it’s important to point out that they don’t really have a choice.

Riquelme is out of contract at the end of the campaign and, unless Diego Simeone’s Champions League quarter-finalists can agree a new deal, a teenager with a £26 million release clause will depart the Wanda Metropolitano for absolutely nothing.

Rangers have been eyeing Riquelme ever since he tore their youngsters apart in a staggering UEFA Youth League performance recently, according to Marca. Glasgow rivals Celtic, meanwhile, are always on the lookout for exciting youngsters with a substantial re-sale potential so it is no surprise that the 20-year-old is on their radar too.

Now, Celtic and Rangers are two of the most historic, well-supported and successful football clubs in Europe. But Real Madrid are on another level, not just to them but almost everyone.

And with reports suggesting that the 13-time European champions are fluttering their eyelashes in Riquelme’s direction, this already intriguing transfer battle might have just taken a turn for the worse.

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