Rangers have been handed a welcomed Champions League qualifying boost.

It has been confirmed that Philippe Clement's side will be seeded in both the third qualifying round and then the play-off round should they progress to that stage.

That comes after Europa League winners Atalanta secured a top-four finish in Serie A today.

The Bergamo side had already booked their slot in next season's new-look Champions League phase with their emphatic 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Dublin on Wednesday night.

But that success, coupled with their now confirmed top-four finish on the domestic scene, means that Rangers will be seeded for qualifying amid the knock-on effect of Italy having five teams participating in next season's continental tournament.

Atalanta's result also sees Benfica skip UCL qualifying, as they will enter the league phase automatically.

So, all of this means Rangers have, in theory, an easier path to joining Celtic in the proper competition. With their new place as a seeded team for the third qualifying round, for example, Lille is no longer a potential opponent. 

As things stand, Fenerbache, FC Twente, Union Saint-Gilloise and Dynamo Kviv are the unseeded teams for that round.

While chiefs at Rangers will be pleased with the knock-on from Atalanta's end-of-season success, Hearts will be less so.

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The picture still looks pretty for Steven Naismith and his team, as they are guaranteed Europa Conference League phase football at the very least. 

However, the possibility of them getting a bye into the Europa League was cancelled out with Atalanta's result over Torino today, and so they will indeed have to play in the play-off qualifier for that competition.

By becoming Scottish champions for the third season in a row last week, Celtic sealed their automatic spot in next season's Champions League.