Former Man Utd captain Roy Keane has been named the new odds-on favourite take the vacant managerial role at Celtic.
Neil Lennon resigned from the clubs last month after the Hoops fell 18 points behind champions elect Rangers. Steven Gerrard’s men have since wrapped up the title, ending Celtic’s nine-year period of dominance in Scottish football.
John Kennedy, Lennon’s assistant, has taken over as caretaker manager, and he is priced at 21/10 (3.10) with Paddy Power to land the job on a permanent basis. However, Keane has now emerged as the new frontrunner at 4/6 (1.67) to be handed the reins at Celtic.
Keane spent the final season of his playing career with Celtic following a 12-year, trophy-laden spell at Old Trafford. He only made 10 league appearances, but he won the title and the league cup before retiring at the end of the campaign.
He went straight into management, signing a three-year deal to take over as Sunderland boss. The Black Cats were languishing in the Championship relegation zone after a disastrous start to the season, but Keane turned their fortunes around and secured promotion to the Premier League.
His two-year spell at the club ultimately ended in acrimonious circumstances when he fell out with shareholder Ellis Short, and he ended up taking over as the new manager of Ipswich Town. He was sacked after 21 months, with his side hovering near the bottom of the Championship table.
Since then, Keane has served as assistant manager at the Irish national team, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, but this would be his first full managerial role in a decade if he were to land the Celtic job.
A Celtic source has reportedly told Football Insider that discussions are already underway and that the club are “ready” to offer the Irishman the job. It could just be paper talk, but Keane would be pretty good fit for the club, as he knows it well and he has a winning mentality, while he will stand for any nonsense from the playing staff. A bet at 4/6 might therefore tempt a number of punters.
Celtic are also expected to appoint a director of football, a chief scout and a team of analysts as they bid to improve the squad and wrest the title back from the blue half of Glasgow next season. It would be exciting to see Keane and Gerrard go head-to-head, and we could be in for a gripping title battle next term.