By Craig Turnbull
Rangers boss Mark Warburton says potential Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is a manager of the highest quality.
The former Liverpool and Swansea boss has been made the front runner to be Ronny Deila’s successor and could be unveiled as the club’s new man as early as next week if terms can be finalised.
Warburton knows the calibre of manager Rodgers is having worked with him at Watford and he says he’d relish the challenge of competing against the Northern Irishman next season in the Scottish Premiership.
“I know Brendan I worked with him at Watford,” he said.
“I was academy manager and he was manager. He’s very experienced, well organised, a good motivator and man manager.
“He’s a manager of the highest quality. He’s worked in the Premier League and came within a slip of almost winning the Premier League so there’s no doubt about Brendan’s qualities.
“I like him very much as an individual so if he is the man indeed he’d be a great choice for them.
“Absolutely, I’d relish the challenge. You have to enjoy it. Whoever Celtic choose it’s about Rangers, it’s about how we prepare and deal with the challenge they’ll pose and there’s no doubt these clubs will pose a real challenge. We have to rise to that.”
Meanwhile, the club’s pursuit of Joey Barton remains alive and Warburton admits there has been no indication either way yet as to whether the Burnley man wants to join the club.
However, he is hopeful he has sold his vision of Rangers to Barton.
“Joey is a player who will have many, many suitors I’m sure. Our job is to sell the opportunity that Rangers represents. We’re never going to compete with the wages down south.
“If we can show what we are as a club: the supporters, the history and the structure of the club and what are project is and what are aspirations and are targets are then hopefully any players finds that appealing.
“If they do then hopefully we conclude business if not then we move on.
“Indicated he wants to sign? No, we were delighted we brought him to Glasgow last weekend, great company, very experienced, very combative and highly intelligent.
“We’re delighted to talk him. I’m sure he will have many suitors but hopefully we can push forward and get it over the line.”