Panathinaikos captain Dimitrios Kourbelis wanted by Postecoglou's Celtic and Rangers

Dimitrios Kourbelis Panathinaikos

Panathinaikos captain Dimitrios Kourbelis is reportedly wanted by Glasgow giant Celtic FC, managed by Greek-Australia Ange Postecoglou, and their crosstown rivals Rangers. Reports in Greece suggest that Celtic and Rangers are both trying to sign the defensive midfielder for next season.

The 29-year-old is out of contract with the Athens giants at the end of the season and has yet to agree on a new deal, with it looking increasingly unlikely he will extend his seven-year stint at the club.

And both Celtic and Rangers are among the clubs interested in snapping up Kourbelis, who can play as a central defender or a central midfielder, once his contract expires.

Kourbelis battled back from being out for 14 months a couple of years ago following a hip injury and has returned to become a key player for Panathinaikos.

He's been capped 30 times for Greece, but seems set to leave for new challenges at the end of the season and the Scottish Premiership's big two are among his potential suitors.

Relations with his club took a turn for the worse earlier this month when he was sent off in a match against Asteras Tripoli. He received two yellow cards within seven minutes and was fined £20,000 by Panathinaikos for his actions.

Panathinaikos first offered him a new three-year deal back in November. But no agreements have been reached and both halves of the Old Firm have been named in Greece as leading the chase for the experienced player.

Meanwhile, Mark Wilson believes Celtic will have a key player at their disposal on Sunday that the Hoops didn't have last time.

And for the former Celtic defender believes that is left-back Greg Taylor, who started last month's firecracker 2-2 draw with Rangers but was forced off within just 20 minutes of action through injury with Josip Juranovic deployed as part of a backline. The Croatian in his place had a torrid afternoon as Michael Beale's men roared back in the second half only to be stung by a late Kyogo equaliser.

The two shall meet once again at the weekend, this time in the Viaplay Cup final as Greek-Australian Ange Postecoglou's side look to retain the trophy the Aussie first won in Glasgow.

And Wilson insists Taylor could be the difference but expects Postecoglou to alter his approach slightly from the derby draw at Ibrox.

He told Clyde 1: “Both sides were, I thought, were nervy on the day. And I was surprised with Celtic and how they played.

“They were careless in possession and that’s never like Ange Postecoglou’s side, especially with the players in that midfield area.

"It’s a funny thing to mention, but when Greg Taylor went off, I thought that’s when the game started to turn. But Taylor’s back fit now. Best left back in Scotland for me.

“But in terms of possession on the day, I think both managers will be disappointed in the way their teams approached that. I think we’ll see a different game at Hampden.”

For his part, Postecoglou believes the 50/50 split at Hampden will add to the 'theatre' of the Old Firm showdown and create a 'real derby atmosphere'.

In recent times the home side out of Celtic and Rangers pretty much occupy the full stadium at either Parkhead of Ibrox with the travelling support handed a small section of tickets.

But with the League Cup Final at the national stadium, the rivals will have an even split which the Hoops boss believes will really add something to the occasion.

The 57-year-old lifted the Viaplay Cup - known at that point as the Premier Sports Cup - last season as his first ever trophy at Celtic and he is eyeing up making it successive wins in the competition as he looks to bring an end to Michael Beale's unbeaten run as Rangers boss.

On the ticket split at Hampden and if it creates a different vibe around the game, he said: "I think it does, yeah. It's a different atmosphere, it's a real derby atmosphere. Obviously when we play at Ibrox or Celtic Park, the atmosphere is very parochial in one way.

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