Just when you thought Celtic were rolling out the red carpet in preparation for Eddie Howe’s arrival at Parkhead, they’ve been dealt another potential blow.
The Hoops’ pursuit of the 43-year-old has been a tiresome saga but there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight for Paradise chiefs.
TalkSPORT reported last week that a deal had finally been agreed to bring Howe to Glasgow. Promising signs have emerged in the last seven days with details of Crystal Palace’s managerial situation coming to light.
The Eagles have been keen on Howe but, after Roy Hodgson announced he’d be leaving, the 43-year-old reportedly flopped during the interview process. That meant Celtic had a free run at the former Bournemouth boss.
Unfortunately for the Hoops, a massive twist has now occurred. Palace have also been in discussions with Frank Lampard but, according to Football Insider, they have sensationally pulled out of the race for the former Chelsea man following extensive talks.
Consequently, a Celtic source has told the outlet that there are fresh concerns over Howe’s move to Glasgow, with Palace potentially pushing hard to try and land him.
With Howe seemingly all but through the door at Celtic, news that a job in the Premier League could actually be on the cards could tempt him to remain south of the border.
The 43-year-old hasn’t been keen on a return to management until the summer, with his agent insisting that he can still land a job in England’s top flight.
Palace seemed the most likely destination but, after he flopped during an interview with Steve Parish, Celtic became his first choice again. However, the failure of Lampard’s own talks mean Howe could change his thought process and stay in England.
With so much to do at Paradise this summer, it would be terrible news if the 43-year-old snubs a move to Scotland.
Celtic need a new head coach and they need one quickly. They have already waited long enough for the former Cherries manager and cannot afford to delay any longer.
If there is the slightest hint that he prefers Crystal Palace, Dominic McKay and Dermot Desmond need to focus their attention elsewhere and move for a coach who is 100% committed to the Hoops.
With several players likely to leave Parkhead, a new manager is needed quickly to assess the recruitment and swiftly bring in replacements.
If the transfer window opens and Celtic chiefs are still deliberating over who will be the new manager, it could leave them significantly behind in their planning and preparation for next season. Those in the boardroom should be incredibly concerned with how long this whole process has taken.
It’s a sorry state of affairs but, after how their season has played out, we should hardly be surprised.