Will Celtic ever find themselves a new manager? That’s the question on the lips of many a Hoops supporter around the globe right now.
The Parkhead faithful are imminently awaiting any announcement and one could be upon us sooner rather than later.
The main man when it comes to Celtic managerial talk in recent weeks has been Eddie Howe. Roy Keane was the favourite before he was quickly usurped by the Englishman.
Howe is a free agent after leaving Bournemouth last year and is thought to have held discussions with Celtic and Dermot Desmond over moving to Paradise, but a number of obstacles have fallen in their path. One of the biggest roadblocks is the rumours of a move to Crystal Palace, where he is on a three-man shortlist to replace Roy Hodgson.
That being said, new information suggests that those links could be a red herring, with Howe still expected to arrive in Glasgow.
Speaking on Clyde 1, Scottish Daily Mail reporter Stephen McGowan said this week: “The two sides seem more relaxed about it than the fans are. He met Dermot Desmond two weeks ago in London, there was an expectation things might move quickly because he’s out of work but that hasn’t happened, but there might be reasons for that.”
McGowan continued: “Fans are threatened that he’s using Celtic as a bargaining tool with Crystal Palace. I think that’s a bit of a red herring, personally. I think the info coming from the Howe circle is he’s really tired of firefighting and relegation struggles and he fancies something different, the chance to manage in Europe and win trophies.
He concluded: “I think Celtic fears he has been playing them off against other clubs is a bit overplayed. If I was down to my last tenner now, I’d still stick it on Howe for Celtic.”
This is exactly the news that majority shareholder Desmond will have wanted. This season has been a constant cycle of negative hearsay for the Hoops hierarchy but at last Desmond could have something to shout about.
He has witnessed his team being usurped by their fierce rivals, Rangers, and he has also seen the Green Brigade protest and question his leadership.
Desmond has never been keen to sell his share,s and if he gets the Howe appointment spot on, that stance will be completely vindicated.
He has sat back in recent weeks and watched Howe play him around a bit. Firstly, the 43-year-old’s representatives told news outlets that he didn’t want to return to management until the summer, and then he had complex demands relating to his backroom staff.
However, there was no bigger threat to a deal than interest from elsewhere. After all, Howe has been a little reluctant to move his family so far away from home.
If the Crystal Palace news is merely a smokescreen, then it bodes well for the rest of Celtic’s pursuit. Hopefully things will get a little easier for the Hoops hierarchy now.