Invite Old Firm to England before Barcelona, says Arsene Wenger

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Arsene Wenger has suggested that Celtic and Rangers should be invited to play in England before Barcelona.

The Arsenal boss was responding to claims that the Catalan giants could be invited to play in the English Premier League, if the region votes for independence from Spain.

Arsene Wenger would rather invite the Old Firm teams before Barcelona. Picture: Getty Images

Arsene Wenger would rather invite the Old Firm teams before Barcelona. Picture: Getty Images

La Liga president Javier Tebas stated that Catalan clubs - Barcelona, Girona and Espanyol - would not be permitted to compete in the Spanish top flight in the event of a Yes vote.

READ MORE - Celtic in EPL would be amazing but it won’t happen, says Rodgers

And Catalan sports minister Gerard Figueras suggested that the affected sides could ply their trade in another league.

Figueras told Goal: “Elite clubs would choose between challenging in a Catalan league or in a foreign league.”

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager, thinks Barcelona wanting to join the EPL would 'make things even more difficult'. Picture: Getty Images

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager, thinks Barcelona wanting to join the EPL would 'make things even more difficult'. Picture: Getty Images

In another interview, he raised the possibility of Catalan teams in La Liga competing in the Spanish league, or in Italy, France or England.

READ MORE - Old Firm to England debate reignited by league reconstruction

But Wenger believes that other clubs should be invited to ply their trade in England before Barca.

He told reporters: “I will try to learn Catalan, but if Barcelona want to join the Premier League, it makes things even more difficult for everybody.

Gerard Pique of Barcelona has EPL experience, but Wenger doesn't think his current club Barcelona will ever compete in England. Picture: Getty Images

Gerard Pique of Barcelona has EPL experience, but Wenger doesn't think his current club Barcelona will ever compete in England. Picture: Getty Images

“But I don’t think they have got as far as that. It is interesting and there will be incidents on the sporting side as Barcelona are a highly political club.”

But the Frenchman added: “We have enough clubs here with 20 but if you want to go up to 24, we have to invite the Scottish clubs before we go for the Spanish.”

READ MORE - English football league clubs to decide on Old Firm invitation