Rangers boss Van Bronckhorst won’t release Aribo, Balogun for AFCON until January 2022

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has confirmed that Rangers’ Nigerian contingent WILL play against Celtic before heading to the African Cup of Nations.

Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey and Leon Balogun are all likely to be included in the Super Eagles squad for the tournament in Cameroon next month.

Previous manager Gernot Rohr appeared relaxed about the Ibrox trio not joining up until after the crucial Premiership clash on 2 January.

However, the German has since been replaced by technical director Augustine Eguavoen, who was determined to have all of his squad together by the end of the year.
The European Club Association, of which Rangers are a member, wrote to CAF outline their concerns ahead of the tournament, which included the ‘unacceptable’ issue of players missing club games in order to take part.

There were even doubts that the competition would go ahead given the surge of the Omicron Covid variant, but it appears to be happening as planned for now.
And van Bronckhorst was unequivocal when asked if Aribo, Bassey and Balogun would be available to him for the trip across Glasgow.

He said: “Any players representing at the Africa Cup of Nations will be here for the Old Firm match before being released.”

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