Stoke and Cardiff 'move' for Rangers target as Ayr United make major announcement ahead of Celtic friendly

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Rangers are reportedly facing increased competition as they look to secure a deal for Aberdeen star Connor Barron.

The Scotland Under-21 star has been linked with a whole host of clubs as he approaches the final weeks of his current deal at Pittodrie and is believed to have a number of offers on the table. Serie A clubs Bologna and Hellas Verona were linked with a move for the midfielder as they look to make Barron the latest Scottish youngster to be tempted into a switch to Italy’s top tier - but it is Rangers who are believed to be leading the race for the 21-year-old. However, the Ibrox club are yet to agree a fee with their Premiership rivals and that means they could end up being forced into a tribunal to set a fee for the deal

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The Daily Record have now claimed four English Championship clubs are preparing an offer for the talented midfielder in a move that would see Aberdeen land just over £500,000 in training compensation. Welsh duo Swansea City and Cardiff City have both been suggested as possible suitors for Barron and Plymouth Argyle and Stoke City are also said to have registered an interest in handing the midfielder a move south of the border. The report also reveals interest from Cagliari has ‘ended’ following the retirement of manager Claudio Ranieri and Sassuolo have ended any efforts to sign Barron after they were relegated into Serie B.

Honest Men make progress ahead of Celtic friendly

There will be a meeting of old friends in pre-season when Celtic visit an Ayr United side managed by Hoops legend Scott Brown.

The Honest Men boss made over 400 appearances and won 22 major honours during a 14-year stay at Celtic Park between 2007 and 2021 - but is now plying his trade as a manager with the Championship side. Brown also added former Celtic winger Aiden McGeady to his squad last summer and he will look forward to lining up against his old club at Somerset Park on Friday, July 5.

Scott Brown appointed manager of Ayr UnitedScott Brown appointed manager of Ayr United
Scott Brown appointed manager of Ayr United | SNS Group

How Ayr’s ground will look on that night remains to be seen as they look to finalise work on the development of their North Stand and a key date will arrive next week when a key inspection takes place next week. The work will need to receive a safety certificate before Celtic’s visit takes place and an inspection of the progress is set to take place on Tuesday, June 18.

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Council papers regarding the inspection read: Council papers said: “As the newly constructed stand with a capacity of over 500 seats, this will therefore be a Regulated Stand under the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987. This requires a formal application to be submitted and a Safety Certificate issued along with a set capacity. It can be confirmed that Ayr Utd have submitted the required application, and that Building Standards have reviewed the information submitted in relation to the compliance.”

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