Celtic’s pursuit of a new manager is now in its ninth week but we are still no closer to discovering who Neil Lennon’s successor will be at Parkhead.
The Bhoys have had a number of head coaches on their radar but a deal still eludes the club’s hierarchy.
What’s the word?
One of the names on Celtic’s shortlist has seemingly been American coach Jesse Marsch.
He’s currently in charge of RB Salzburg and admitted a few months ago that it was an honour to be linked with the Hoops job.
Journalist Christian Falk revealed soon after that he wouldn’t be heading to Glasgow and indeed, that is now on the verge of being confirmed.
However, after Julian Nagelsmann decided to leave RB Leipzig to become Bayern Munich boss, it has left the door open for him to move to another Red Bull associated side.
Taking to Twitter, the ever-reliable Fabrizio Romano dealt a crushing blow to Celtic’s ambitions, saying: “Jesse Marsch is set to become the new RB Leipzig manager – ten Hag was also in the list.”
With the idea of Eddie Howe arriving in Scotland becoming slimmer by the day, it surely won’t be too long before majority shareholder Dermot Desmond starts searching for other options.
Unfortunately, he won’t be able to target Marsch anymore.
This is a great shame for everyone at Celtic because out of the vast majority of candidates to be linked with the role, he was one of the most eye-catching.
He might not have the experience or honours of a certain Jose Mourinho but he’s proven adaptable and flexible in recent years with Salzburg.
After all, what Celtic need right now is a manager who can dominate the domestic scene but then prepare suitably for European football.
With a win rate of 67% under his belt, he certainly knows how to crush opponents and the way he took the game to Liverpool, losing 4-3 in the 2019/20 Champions League, shows he can adapt to playing bigger and better sides away from the Austrian Bundesliga.
They finished third in their group that season, ending up on seven points in a pool that included the holders at the time and Napoli. They only lost 3-2 to Atletico Madrid in this season’s Champions League too.
Celtic have long been underwhelming in Europe and ended their Europa League run this term having conceded 19 times in just six games.
Marsch, therefore, could have taken the Bhoys to a different level and made them a more respectable unit in Europe. Take into consideration his idea of pressing and it only adds further glamour to the idea of bringing him to Celtic.
Once more, that could have made them a tougher outfit to break down, something we alluded to when discussing why the club should consider Oostende boss Alexander Blessin.
Both coaches came through the ranks at Leipzig, learning the ways of Ralf Rangnick, the father of the modern-day press.
It’s a big blow to lose out on him when he was so willing to leave Salzburg; Desmond should be gutted.