Celtic have been on the hunt for a new manager for over two months now but after a long and arduous slump, the chips are beginning to fall into place.
The Hoops have considered several managers and this week feels like a landmark one for their future.
Celtic were dealt a nice boost on Wednesday when it was revealed by one English newspaper that the Bhoys were now in the closing stages of a deal to bring Eddie Howe to the club.
This is timely given major news that’s now emerged elsewhere.
The Glaswegian’s had been keen on Jesse Marsch in the last few months with the American even admitting it was an honour to be linked with the job.
That said, he hasn’t been short of suitors. RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann is due to become Bayern Munich manager in the summer and after weeks of speculation, the Bundesliga outfit found their successor right away.
In news confirmed on Thursday, Leipzig have appointed Marsch as their new boss, with the 47-year-old set to take up his post at the start of the 2021/22 campaign.
Celtic may be nearing a deal for Howe but Marsch would have been an inspired appointment from Dermot Desmond. Instead, he may have to rue what could have been.
A young and progressive coach, he has shown a number of desirable qualities that would have fitted what the Bhoys require like a glove.
First and foremost, he has been raised and developed by Ralf Rangnick’s methods, one that involves a quick and heavy press.
This traditionally involves a team harassing the opposition, not allowing them to settle and pass the ball out of danger. For Celtic, this would have helped them dominate again, winning the ball back quickly and making a nuisance for themselves.
Known for a vertical style of play, this would have suited the Hoops because they like to play in a similar fashion. This term, they’ve managed 85.05 progressive passes per 90 minutes; one of the highest averages in Europe this season.
Howe might be able to bring a similar method to Paradise but pivotally, he has no experience of European football under his belt.
Celtic will need to get their domestic ambitions back on track first but improving in continental fixtures should be near the top of their agenda.
They were knocked out in the Champions League qualifying stages this term and then finished rock bottom of their Europa League group having conceded 19 goals.
To lose out on an adaptable and flexible coach like Marsch, therefore, is a bitter pill to swallow.