Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst insists the club will not release Nigerian trio; Aribo, Leon Balogun and possibly Calvin Bassey for the Africa Cup of Nations before the Old Firm derby against Celtic.
Nigeria will open their AFCON training camp on December 28 in Uyo.
Rangers on the other hand will travel to Parkhead for their Scottish Premiership showdown with Celtic on January 2, 2022.9
“They will be here with the team, 100 per cent. For me, it was already clear that we would release them if needed after the Old Firm game,”Van Bronckhorst told a press conference on Friday.
“So we have the full squad until we go into the winter break.”
The loss of Aribo in particular would have been a damaging blow for Rangers given his fine form since Van Bronckhorst’s appointment at Ibrox.
The playmaker would miss the Old Firm fixture if he picks up a booking against Dundee United and Van Bronckhorst will carefully consider his team selection.
He said: “You are preparing the game for [Saturday], but you obviously have your plans for the next games if possible, especially if you have players one card from suspension.
“Also physically you have to watch the load for the players. You have to take everything into account.”
This article was updated 9 months ago