January is undoubtedly one of the biggest months of the year for speculation and 2021 is no different at Celtic.
The Hoops are in a spot of bother and having won just seven of their last 21 outings heading into their clash with Livingston on Wednesday, they were over 20 points behind Rangers.
Of course, they have games in hand, but it would take a major miracle for the Bhoys to beat their rivals to the SPFL crown.
Consequently, Neil Lennon’s job is under threat with supporters even gathering outside Parkhead in protest.
Eddie Howe has been touted with taking over from the Northern Irishman while former Celtic midfielder Stiliyan Petrov threw another of their ex-players into the hat this week, suggesting Roy Keane would be a good move.
The 49-year-old hot-headed pundit led Sunderland to Championship glory in 2006/07 in one of his 16 honours as a player and coach, but he has been out of management since 2011. Keane rejected the chance to return to Glasgow in 2014 and very rarely do second opportunities like that come about.
Though, if majority shareholder Dermot Desmond viewed him as a suitable replacement for Lennon should he be sacked then the Manchester United legend could help to create a fearsome duo.
That’s because the Glaswegians have been linked with making a move for Preston midfielder Ben Pearson, someone available on a free transfer next summer.
Preston boss Alex Neil has already given the green light for him to leave, and if both Keane and Pearson arrive at Celtic, it would be a full-blooded partnership.
In many senses, Pearson embodies the player that Keane was. The 26-year-old is one of the most aggressive around and in the last four and a half years alone, he has picked up 52 yellow cards.
Like the television pundit was during his playing days, the 5 ft 9 Pearson loves to throw in a tackle and nothing sums that up more than his poor disciplinary record. Keane, for instance, picked up an alarming 31 red cards in his career.
His cut-throat nature has continued since he retired and he’s known to be a particularly demanding individual as a coach. Described as “unbelievable” by Michael Chopra for the way he took him under his wing at Sunderland, a similar sort of relationship could be established between these two Celtic targets.
Keane has made a living from being bad-tempered and hostile in the challenge. Pearson is proving exactly the same in the English Championship.
Just imagine how destructive the midfielder could be under a manager who despite being so argumentative, harnessed that to win a plethora of titles in the process.
This could be a dream combination for the Bhoys.