Now the battle lines could be drawn as the Old Firm rivals vie for the services of their preferred candidate.
Rangers are looking to appoint a director of football as they implement restructuring in the wake of Mark Warburton’s shock exit as manager.
Their shortlist of targets includes Ross Wilson, who has been Southampton’s director of recruitment and scouting since March 2015, Huddersfield’s head of football operations Stuart Webber and former Tottenham and Southampton head of recruitment Paul Mitchell.
However, the trio also figure prominently in the thoughts of Parkhead chiefs.
The Hoops are keen to fill a key recruitment and scouting role left vacant by the departure of John Park in October.
Celtic and Rangers are set to go head to head as they look to fill respective club positions
Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers wants someone with an eye for a player, and English-based trio Wilson, Webber and Mitchell are being considered.
Highly-rated Scotsman Wilson, who has had roles at Falkirk, Huddersfield and Watford before moving to St Mary’s, may be reluctant to quit the Premier League for either half of the Old Firm.
The 34-year-old is in charge of recruitment and academy policy at a club renowned as having the best youth structure in England, and one of the best in Europe, and is in no rush to return north of the border.
Having been unsuccessfully courted by Celtic in the past and mindful of the current chaos at Ibrox, Wilson knows he will soon have the chance to fry bigger fish than the Premiership should he choose to leave Southampton.
However, Wilson is very highly thought of within the boardroom at Ibrox in particular and if they are serious about reviving the ailing club then an offer he can’t refuse might still be laid on the table.
If Wilson remains a long shot then both Mitchell and Webber are serious live contenders for the jobs in Glasgow – and a fight for their services could be about to get interesting.
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Mitchell has been on gardening leave at White Hart Lane since before Christmas but is now free
With Mitchell having earned a reputation as a sharp talent-spotter, the 35-year-old Mancunian’s skill set might be more appropriate for the role at Parkhead, where Rodgers wants a shrewd judge in charge of recruitment and scouting.
The former Wigan and MK Dons player has already turned down roles south of the border after handing in his notice at Spurs in August.
Mitchell is already well known to Rodgers, who had him earmarked as a possible contender from very early on in the recruitment process.
During Mitchell’s time at Southampton from 2012-2014 as a key member of manager Mauricio Pochettino’s staff, Rodgers repeatedly plundered the club, taking Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana to Liverpool.
Mitchell has been on gardening leave at White Hart Lane since before Christmas but is now free to make his next career move, with Glasgow featuring prominently on his list of possible destinations.
A shot at the newly-created Rangers director of football position would be a departure from his previous roles at Saints and Spurs, but his football brain and connections down south as well as experiences on the staff at two of the best-run clubs in Britain means he has obvious qualities currently lacking behind the scenes at Ibrox.
Webber’s name consistently crops up when bigger clubs are looking to bolster the backroom team.
After replacing Wilson at Huddersfield, the 33-year-old caused a stir when appointing little-known German David Wagner as manager.
But Wagner, a youth coach at Borussia Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp, has bought wisely with Webber’s help and has the Terriers pushing at the right end of the Championship table.
Rangers have targeted Webber because of his dual role in terms of administrative and football work.
However, Celtic have not dismissed the notion of the former Wolves and Liverpool strategist taking on a role that focuses more on the recruitment side of the business at Parkhead.
The two Scottish giants are hoping to make firm moves for candidates in the next few weeks, and it could well develop into a tug-of-war if they plump for the same preferred target.