Are we finally reaching some sort of verdict in Celtic’s hunt to replace Neil Lennon? Rather amazingly, that could be the case.
It has now been two months to the day since the Northern Irishman departed the scene, but the Bhoys still only have a temporary manager in charge.
However, after some dramatic words from Hoops pundit Frank McAvennie, they may have to focus on the former, with Howe apparently not so keen on the job as it first appeared.
The 43-year-old was in advanced discussions but a number of issues have since plagued negotiations. As a result, it would be a surprise if he did end up in the Parkhead dugout next term.
Speaking to Football Insider, a man with well-placed contacts shared a vital opinion on the matter.
McAvennie commented: “I’m hoping he’s not given up because he’d be great. I know he’s not won trophies but he has a chance to do that and raise his profile up here.
“He did so well at Bournemouth, taking them from the fourth division right through to the Premier League. I don’t know what’s going on but in my opinion, he doesn’t want it any more. If he did then he’d be here.”
It has now been 24 days since news emerged that Celtic were in advanced talks with Howe and, since that moment, he has only crept further and further away from them.
There have been a number of setbacks in that time, with the likes of Brighton and Crystal Palace both monitoring his situation, while the manager’s agent hasn’t played a particularly good role in this from a Hoops perspective either.
Howe’s representative revealed that the 43-year-old didn’t want to return to management until the summer before a claim came to light from the same source that they were trying to convince him he could still get a job in the Premier League.
There have also been issues relating to his backroom staff, namely Richard Hughes. Celtic are trying to tie down the landmark appointment of a director of football but, despite having a deal 90% completed for Fergal Harkin, it was suggested that Howe wanted Hughes instead.
There have also been other backroom requests from the former Bournemouth boss which sources suggest the Bhoys have refused as well.
With all that in mind, to hear that Howe now doesn’t want the job is news which should leave the club’s majority shareholder Dermot Desmond enraged.