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Celtic and Rangers linked with released Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan

Jon Flanagan (Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Jon Flanagan (Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

LIVERPOOL have announced their decision to release Jon Flanagan, a move certain to have been noted by both Rangers and Celtic.

The 25-year-old full-back both played under Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers and was a team-mate of Steven Gerrard, newly-appointed manager of the Light Blues.

Having fallen out of favour with Reds current coach, Jurgen Klopp, he spent most of last season playing in the English Championship with Bolton Wanderers.

Now at the end of his deal, the Academy graduate is being allowed to move on.

Liverpool fans will remember him as part of Rodgers team which came so close to winning the Premier League title in 2013-14.

A full England internationalist, he is likely to have offers from both sides of the border.

Gerrard has already shown his willingness to consider former team-mates through the early approach to Martin Skrtel.

Having played alongside the Slovakian defender for eight years, he saw him as being exactly the kind of experienced player he wanted to build the team around.

Finances proved a problem in the pursuit of the 33-year-old, with his current club Fenerbahce able to offer in excess of any package Rangers could put together.

And last night, former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, now in charge of Newcastle United, was poised to end any remaining hopes they had of bringing him to Scotland.

It has been reported the North East club’s representatives were flying to Turkey under orders to strike a deal for his signature.

Benitez has a previous relationship with Skrtel, having signed him for Liverpool from Zenit St Petersburg in 2008.

Crystal Palace, meanwhile, are pondering a £4m-plus summer move for Celtic midfielder, Stuart Armstrong.

The Scotland midfielder, who missed the trip to Peru and Mexico because of injury, is coming into the last 12 months of his contact with the Hoops and has shown a reluctance to sign an extension.

With World Cup-bound Tom Rogic having cemented his position as Celtic’s principal playmaker, the club may be agreeable to sell.