Celtic and Rangers on alert as 163-goal striker told he can leave club

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Celtic and Rangers are both on high alert after Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe was told he is free to leave the Vitality Stadium this month.

The 36-year-old former England international has made just four league appearances this season, with his only starts coming in the Carabao Cup competition.

Jermain Defoe has been told he can leave Bournemouth this month. Picture: Getty Images

Jermain Defoe has been told he can leave Bournemouth this month. Picture: Getty Images

And while Cherries boss Eddie Howe has hailed Defoe’s professionalism, he admitted that the former Spurs and Sunderland forward isn’t likely to dislodge his favoured attackers.

• READ MORE - Celtic transfer latest

According to reports, Celtic and Rangers have been interested in Defoe in the past, and the Glasgow rivals are both keen on bolstering their attacking options in the January transfer window.

Defoe is understood to be earning around £100,000-a-week at Bournemouth but is thought to be open to taking a pay cut in return for regular game time.

Howe has also hailed Emerson Hyndman’s loan spell at Hibs. The American midfielder played 17 times for Neil Lennon’s side, including appearances in the Europa League and Betfred Cup.

• READ MORE - Rangers transfer latest

Howe said: “Emerson has done well in Scotland. We are really pleased with the progress he has made. From the perspective of dealing with the media, big crowds and high expectations, Scottish football is excellent.

“The football is high-tempo. It’s very similar to football in this country where it is blood and thunder and the games matter so much. The supporters are really passionate at every club. It has been beneficial for him.”