Celtic’s search for a new manager has turned into somewhat of a circus. Rumours are flying all over the shop but we could be about to finally find out who is hired the Bhoys’ new head coach.
Eddie Howe has emerged as the favourite in recent days as the Hoops have moved away from Roy Keane.
What’s the word?
Howe is reportedly in advanced talks with the Celtic hierarchy to become their new manager. He has held discussions with majority shareholder Dermot Desmond and performed due diligence on behind-the-scenes matters.
According to the Daily Mail, he is already working on his backroom team. However, in a surprising turn of events, he wants to bring his own technical director with him in Richard Hughes.
Nick Hammond left his role as Head of Football Operations this week, a position which was reportedly being changed to a Director of Football. That role was set to be filled by Manchester City’s Fergal Harkin.
A deal was 90% done but news that Howe wants to bring Hughes with him instead puts a cloud of doubt over Harkin’s future.
Sportsmail reported that Howe is happy to stick with John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan, but wants Hughes to oversee a restructuring of the football operations. It is also claimed that former Celtic man Mark Burchill – now a scout at Bournemouth – is also in line for a job.
Bad news for Celtic
Hughes is currently technical director at Bournemouth but news that Celtic could now move away from Harkin shouldn’t be welcomed by supporters.
The latter has developed a reputation as a transfer guru during his time with Manchester City and has been in charge of their loan system.
That has allowed Harkin to help the development of young players, streamlining the transition from youth team to senior football.
He has worked with the likes of ex-Hoops Patrick Roberts and Olivier Ntcham, while he played a large role in the progress of City first teamer Oleksandr Zinchenko.
For a club like Celtic who have neglected some of their younger players this season, this would have been a great appointment.
Instead, they’re looking at a director who has arguably spent poorly on the south coast of England. Although he built a squad which ultimately got promoted to the Premier League, some of his signings after Bournemouth came up were abject.
He spent £19m on Dominic Solanke, a player who has scored just 15 times in 81 outings for the Cherries. Hughes also played a role in bringing Jordon Ibe to Bournemouth in a deal worth £15m. The 25-year-old was released last summer after netting only five goals in 92 matches.