For the last two months, it has looked a dead certainty that the new manager of Celtic will be Eddie Howe.
The Hoops hierarchy have been in discussions with the 43-year-old for a considerable period of time now. Advanced discussions were thought to be occurring at the beginning of April but the Bhoys have still yet to appoint a permanent first-team manager.
Various reports dictate that Howe will indeed be announced as the new Celtic boss in the not too distant future. However, one claim this week may have put fresh doubt over a move for the former Bournemouth manager.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Alex Crook declared: “As I said last week, my understanding is an agreement between Eddie Howe and Celtic has been in place for some time now in terms of the wages, and the contract length.
“The continued delay seems to centre around the furniture around him, for want of a better phrase, in terms of his coaching staff, who’s going to be head of recruitment.”
That was not new information but he did reveal a worrying verdict on why a delay may be ongoing. Crook added: “I’m also told he does have small concerns over the list of transfer targets that he’s been presented with by Celtic. I think, ideally, he would like a slightly bigger budget to try and wrestle back that SPFL title from Rangers.”
If Celtic can’t get their priorities sorted out, they may have to wave farewell to the notion of Howe becoming the new manager.
The word we’ve received on a constant basis is that he’s waiting to agree terms with a number of the coaching staff at Bournemouth. However, the suggestions that transfer funds and targets are now an issue should be a worrying sign.
Nick Hammond may have left Parkhead, with Dominic McKay arriving, but it doesn’t appear as though things have improved.
Celtic’s recruitment last summer was nothing short of shambolic. David Turnbull won the club’s Player of the Season award and was undoubtedly worth the money, but other areas of the squad were not strengthened sufficiently.
Albian Ajeti scored just six goals after his £5m move from West Ham United, while Vasilis Barkas has struggled to get in the team after a £4.5m switch. As for Jonjoe Kenny and Diego Laxalt, they were both described as horror shows following Celtic’s Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Rangers.
Howe might be on the verge of arriving but, as this news states, it does not guarantee a change in attitude in the transfer market.
If the recruitment team are still working on signing players who aren’t up to scratch, the 43-year-old would struggle regardless of his methods and philosophy.
Celtic need to hand him a healthy budget and allow him to work his magic in the transfer window. It could have large ramifications for their future if it doesn’t work out.