FORMER Rangers manager Mark Warburton has no doubt that his old club and their rivals Celtic could compete in England's top flight - but conceded that he DOESN'T think it will happen anytime soon.

The Old Firm have often been linked with eventually upping sticks and joining the mega-rich Premier League, and those rumours resurfaced once again on Thursday morning following reports of a mooted British Super League.

The proposal, revealed by the Sun, would see Celtic and Rangers parachuted into a new 18-team division at the summit of English football.

But there are some down south - including Bournemouth boss Jonathan Woodgate - who feel that given the contrast in quality between the top leagues in Scotland and England, the Old Firm would struggle to compete in the top flight.

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Appearing on talkSPORT, Woodgate argued that Celtic and Rangers would struggle to beat his own team (who are currently third in the Championship), pointing out that other clubs in the second tier would be unhappy if Celtic or Rangers skipped the queue and were granted top-flight status immediately, were they to quit Scottish football.

He said: “It wouldn’t be fair at all, and if it does they would have to start in the Championship and climb up. We’re Bournemouth and would Celtic and Rangers beat us? I’m not so sure.”

But Warburton - who spent two years at the helm of the Ibrox club between 2015 and 2017 - says he has no doubt that the Hoops and the Gers have what it takes to compete at the highest level.

He told talkSPORT: “This has been mooted for so many seasons about the big two coming south.

“It brings up so many problematic areas – why are we changing and what are we looking to achieve? Is it money-driven?

“All of these various questions will undoubtedly arise. For me, I’d love to see it at some time.

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“I’d love to see it – but it would have to be an outcome that suits and compliments everyone for sure. That’s just my personal opinion.”

He continued: “Will it happen? I don’t think so. Not yet. But it’s certainly one going forward if we see major changes to the European leagues it is one that would undoubtedly attract much interest.

“What are we trying to change here? What is the thought process behind it?

“I think it would give a more level playing field to the remaining clubs, but on the other hand you have the other two’s big finances out of the Scottish game then how would they be compensated?”

When asked specifically about Celtic and Rangers' ability to compete with the big boys down south, Warburton replied: “If you’d asked me this five years ago, I’d have said yes to Celtic and no to Rangers.

“Celtic were playing in the Champions League then and had a squad packed full of internationals, but you have to look at the progress Rangers have made now.

“They’ve won the title, budgets have obviously increased. Look at the squad Steven [Gerrard] and his team have assembled.

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“They’ve got into Europe in the last three seasons, so there’s no doubt they’ve got a quality squad now.

“They would be up against it, it would be disrespectful to say otherwise. They’ve found it tough because of the consistency of the challenges week in week out.

“But there’s no doubt they could [both] compete at the highest level.”