Celtic have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Eddie Howe this week…
According to The Scottish Sun, the incoming Hoops boss has already started work on summer transfer targets, with the 43-year-old making Joshua King one of his first signings.
The pair were together at AFC Bournemouth and it is thought that Howe sees his former talisman as an ideal successor to Odsonne Edouard, who is unlikely to stick around at Parkhead past the current campaign.
King has struggled for game time at Everton since his January deadline day move, failing to start a single match and could well depart at the end of his £45k-per-week contract, opening the door for a reunion in Glasgow.
Howe is yet to be confirmed as Neil Lennon’s successor but is expected to be announced as early as next week, though he may not take the helm until the summer.
The former Cherries genius has a huge rebuild on his hands – long-serving skipper Scott Brown is following CEO Peter Lawwell out the door, four loan players are set to return to their parent clubs and several key stars are either entering the final 12 months of their contracts or are wanted by other teams.
So it’s hugely encouraging that he’s already ‘working flat out behind the scenes,’ as per the aforementioned report. This will please majority shareholder Dermot Desmond immensely, especially after the mooted setback earlier this week.
It suggests that Howe is set on taking the job, and that means Desmond has got his man, barring that official announcement, having been questioned over his own status recently.
He won’t be selling his shares as he’s clearly wanting to be a big part of this new era that Celtic Park is about to embark on.
Incoming CEO Dominic McKay will be taking up his role three months earlier than expected, so it’s now a case of getting Howe through the door sooner rather than later.
But the fact that the ex-Bournemouth manager is already eyeing up a target in King will prove to be music to the ears of many. It’s hugely encouraging and surely means the deal is all but done.
He’ll need to hit the ground running this summer and getting ahead now could be a masterstroke in the long run.
AND in other news, Howe and McKay could instantly save Celtic millions this summer…