If you thought there would be a quick resolution to Celtic’s manager search, think again.
The Bhoys have been trying hard to find a coach to succeed Neil Lennon in the Parkhead dugout but they are continually being handed major setbacks.
Celtic have considered both Roy Keane and Eddie Howe as candidates to be their new manager, but one name doing the rounds a few months ago has come to the centre of attention again. That happens to be a certain Rafael Benitez.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss was linked with the Hoops job at the start of the year, when The Mirror claimed Benitez had left his role in China to become the new manager of Celtic. That never materialised with the Spaniard preferring a vacancy back in the Premier League instead.
However, journalist Alan Nixon shed some more light on their chase of Benitez when answering a supporter’s query on Twitter. He claimed that “It really would take a lot of cash” for the Hoops to secure the services of the 61-year-old.
Reports of Benitez coming to Celtic were clearly premature but it looks like this ship has well and truly sailed now for majority shareholder Dermot Desmond.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that wages have become a bit of a problem for the Hoops in their hunt to find a new manager – they are facing the same issue with former Borussia Dortmund chief Lucien Favre.
He was linked with a move to Fenerbahce but they pulled the plug on a deal because he wanted a salary of around €4.5m per year in Turkey, which works out at around £75,000 per week. It remains to be seen how much the 63-year-old would be seeking in Glasgow, but it doesn’t bode well for Celtic’s hierarchy.
Benitez has earned a pretty hefty sum throughout his career, too. He was reportedly earning a jaw-dropping €13m (£11.3m) per year in China. He was also notoriously one of the highest-paid managers in the Premier League when he was in charge of Newcastle United.
With that in mind, a move for Benitez feels entirely out of the question.
This should be gutting news for Celtic given his experience. He has won the Champions League and Europa League and has gained knowledge of major leagues from all over Europe; he would have been a major coup for the Hoops.