IT would be entertaining to sit Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary and master BS detector, down with a list of recent Scottish football transfer rumours. “Ryan Kent to Manchester United? Twaddle!” “You think Sevilla can get Alfredo Morelos for €8m? Liar!” “Fabrizio Romano? I don’t even know who you are!”

Lynch has been just as entertaining as the Scottish football rumour mill over the last week and a damn sight more believable. When putting aside the conjecture and dealing in the facts of the business that has been done here thus far in this window though, it doesn’t take the trade union's scourge of the media to form some pretty telling conclusions about what may be to come next season.

Of the big two, it would seem that Celtic have had the stronger start to the summer. Chief executive Michael Nicholson appears to have been sold on the notion that you should never rest on your laurels from a position of strength, and manager Ange Postecoglou has moved swiftly to bolster his ranks for the challenges that lie ahead.

Ben (formerly Benjamin) Siegrist has arrived to strengthen their goalkeeping options, Cameron Carter-Vickers is now a Celtic player following his loan spell last season, Jota is certain to follow suit to share duties with Daizen Maeda on the left, while Alexandro Bernabei will come in to provide competition to the vastly improved Greg Taylor at left-back.

Midfielders are still on the shopping list following the departures of Nir Bitton, Tom Rogic and Ismaila Soro, with Brazilian Vinicius Souza a live target. There is still however a fairly healthy roster of central midfielders already in situ, with Callum McGregor, Yosuke Ideguchi, the oft-forgotten James McCarthy, David Turnbull, Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley for Postecoglou to choose from.

On the right, they will hope to keep Josip Juranovic, though a significant return on their £2.5m investment in the Croatian last summer would be received were he to be prised away, and they still have the rejuvenated Anthony Ralston.

Ahead of them, they have Liel Abada and a potentially fully-fit James Forrest for the first time in a couple of years, while Giorgos Giakoumakis is now a more than viable option along with Kyogo in the central striking position.

Postecoglou’s squad appears to be in an incredibly healthy position on paper then, which is remarkable really given how different the landscape was at this stage last summer.

As if that wasn’t enough to cheer the hearts of the Celtic faithful, the club provided a bullish update to the stock market yesterday, telling shareholders they expect revenue to be ‘significantly higher than market expectations’.

Those expectations may have been more modest than usual given the uncertainty around the emergence from Covid restrictions at the time of forecast, but it is another welcome sign for Celtic fans, before you even factor in the guaranteed riches that Champions League group stage football will bring.

It is hard to underestimate just how crucial Celtic capturing the league title was last season in this regard, and how critical it is for Rangers to navigate their own Champions League qualifiers and join their city rivals in the group phase.

Given how impressive they have been in European competition over the past few years, you wouldn’t bet against them doing just that, and what a shot in the arm that would be for the Scottish game if we had two representatives in the competition proper after so many years away from the very top table. It has been 15 years, in fact, since both were in the group stages

In a more parochial sense though, if Rangers fail to make it, it may present Celtic with their best chance of establishing a period of domestic dominance over the Ibrox outfit since 2012. And in a broader sense, it could set Celtic up to make the Champions League group stages their minimum expectation once more.

Postecoglou has made a play of not wasting time on players who he has to convince to come to Celtic, but it is clear even from Siegrist’s comments on the manager’s role in bringing him to the club this week that his vision for Celtic is an asset when attracting talent, and that his sales pitch does matter.

Champions League football itself is another carrot to dangle in front of players, meaning that in theory, Celtic should be able to attract a better standard of player than Rangers going forward too if the Ibrox side don’t have that incentive to sell to prospective signings.

So, a massive period lies ahead in the coming weeks for Rangers, and if they don’t do the business, it will be Celtic who will be the undoubted beneficiaries. Postecoglou’s men will be looking to set an improved pace, and it is up to Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his team to keep up.

I know there will be Rangers fans out there channelling their own inner Mick Lynch right now, and asking ‘Is this the standard of journalism these days?’, but I suspect even they would concede that allowing Celtic to steal such a financial march on them would be a striking blow.