Another season is over, but the next is just around the corner. And with Rangers closing the gap on Celtic to just nine points last season (the closest margin between the clubs since 2010/11), both will be hoping to make some big moves in the transfer market over the summer.
However, with finances tight in Scottish football, bringing in some high-quality additions either on loan or on a free transfer could well swing the league title in either direction.
Of course, this is no new idea. Celtic have brought in the likes of Kolo Toure and Moussa Dembele from south of the border on frees in recent years, while Steven Gerrard is known to absolutely love a freebie having brought in Allan McGregor, Jon Flanagan and Scott Arfield last season, while he’s already signed-up Steven Davis on a free from Southampton this summer.
Below, we’ll take a look at 10 of the best potential free transfers from the Premier League that the Old Firm may well be interested in.
Ashley Williams – Everton
Three years ago, the Wales captain moved to Everton in an £11 million deal from Swansea City.
The centre-half, now 34, enjoyed a solid debut season at Everton before enduring a difficult time in his second season before being sent out on loan to Stoke City for 2018/19.
His Everton contract is up in the summer and will certainly be looking for a new home. He’ll likely have several suitors in the Championship, but a move to the Scottish Premiership – especially to one of the old firm clubs – would surely appeal more to this no-nonsense veteran.
Gary Cahill – Chelsea
Another centre-half on the free transfer list this summer is Gary Cahill, whose eight-year spell at Chelsea is about to come to an end.
The 33-year-old defender was a mainstay in the Chelsea defence until last season and has earned 61 caps for England, while his spell at Stamford Bridge saw him enjoy an impressive trophy haul that included two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, a Europa League title and a Champions League title.
Cahill won’t be short of Premier League and Championship offers this summer – with a move to Aston Villa being his mostly likely destination according to Oddschecker, but if he wants to continue his silverware quest, his best bet may be to move north of the border.
Alberto Moreno – Liverpool
Moreno was hoped to be the answer to Liverpool’s long-standing left-back problems when he joined the club from Sevilla for £12 million in 2014, but it hasn’t quite worked out for him on Merseyside.
Instead, it was Scotsman Andy Robertson who made the position his own, with Moreno playing understudy last season.
While a bit suspect defensively, Moreno is a powerhouse going forward and could certainly interest Steven Gerrard at Rangers. Still just 26, Moreno was also linked with a move to Barcelona in recent months and there will certainly be a lot of interest in the Spaniard this summer.
Andy Carroll – West Ham United
Carroll made headlines when he was signed for a massive £35 million by Liverpool in 2011 to become the most expensive British player of all-time.
The Geordie striker has plied his trade at West Ham since 2012, although fitness problems have seen him appear just 142 to times in seven years at the Hammers, scoring 34 goals.
A fresh start is needed for Carroll who is an absolute handful on his day and still has a few years left him at 30, if he can conquer his injury woes.
Antonio Valencia – Man Utd
Valencia joined Manchester United from Wigan in 2009 for a fee of around £16 million and has provided an outstanding service during his decade at Old Trafford.
While he was signed as a right winger, the powerful Ecuadorian, now 33, has spent much of his United career at right-back, making 339 appearances for the Red Devils.
The vastly experienced full-back would be a real coup for either Old Firm club.
Samir Nasri – West Ham United
After starring for Arsenal early in his career, Samir Nasri made the controversial move to Manchester City in 2011 and was one of the real early drivers behind their new-found success.
Fitness and weight issues have plagued in recent years as he has taken in spells at Sevilla and Antalyaspor, before being given a 12-month drugs ban after being found to have breached WADA rules for using an IV drip containing water and nutrients.
West Ham provided him with a root back into the Premier League in January, but he hasn’t particularly impressed in London and is likely to be on the move again this summer. Still an undoubted talent.
Lazar Markovic – Fulham
Markovic was tipped for big things after making a £20 million switch to Liverpool from Benfica aged just 20. However, his career just hasn’t got going.
Still only 25, Markovic was loaned out to Fenerbahce, Sporting Lisbon, Hull City and Anderlecht, before joining Fulham on a free transfer in January. He has, however, seen just 45 minutes of action for the Cottagers and his short-term contract comes to an end in the coming weeks.
The Serbian international has a lot to prove and a move north of the border to help him achieve that may make sense for both parties.
Bakaray Sako – Crystal Palace
If either Old Firm club is looking to add some flair to their side, they could do a lot worse than Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako. The Mali international is a real handful on his day and may welcome a move to a big club.
Now aged 31, Sako could prove to be a low-risk wildcard for either side.
Mohamed Diame – Newcastle United
A veteran with over 250 Premier League appearances to his name, Mohamed Diame is out of contract at Newcastle in the summer, despite making 29 appearances for the Magpies last season.
The tough-tackling midfielder will have plenty of Premier League suitors, but the chance to win some silverware (his only career honours are the Championship title and the Championship play-off winners) could well be tempting enough for the former Senegal international to move up from Newcastle to Glasgow.
Shinji Okazaki – Leicester City
One of the few remaining members of Leicester’s legendary Premier League winning team, Okazaki, has confirmed he’ll be leaving the King Power Stadium in the summer after seeing his game time restricted to just 21 league appearances in 2018/19.
Now aged 33, the 116-time Japan international is a hard-working striker and has proved himself to be more than useful in coming off the bench against tired defenders for Leicester over the past four years.