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Brendan Rodgers leading the race to seize Celtic job

By Stuart McKinley

Published 18/05/2016

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers has become the frontrunner as Celtic step up their search for a new manager.

The Northern Ireland-born former Liverpool boss has jumped to the top of the Scottish giants’ list of candidates after holding talks with Parkhead chiefs, who are eager to make a quick appointment following the departure of Ronny Deila.

Rodgers, who has been out of work since being sacked by Liverpool last October, gave a strong suggestion of his interest in the Celtic job last month, after it was announced that Deila would step down at the end of the season, saying it was “an opportunity for someone to go to a great club.”

The Celtic hierarchy will, however, work down that list to ensure that they appoint the best possible candidate for the job.

It is understood that Celtic have also held talks with former Cardiff City and Watford manager Malky McKay, who spent five years at the club as a player.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed last month that three Ulstermen were in the frame for the post.

As well as Rodgers, Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill has his admirers at Celtic Park after leading his country to the Euro 2016 finals.

Former Hoops boss Neil Lennon has also expressed an interest in returning to the club, where he spent almost 14 years as player and manager.

With Celtic in Champions League action in less than two months' time, the club are keen to get the right man in place as soon as possible.

Rodgers recently said of Celtic: "It's an incredible club, a club that family and everyone support. Obviously the league isn't so competitive but Celtic are one of the great iconic clubs in the world, a huge club."

Celtic players celebrate after winning the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match following their clash Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images
Celtic players celebrate after winning the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match following their clash Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Singer Andrea Bocelli waves to supporters on the pitch along with Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Aberdeen's Andrew Considine (left) and Celtic's Leigh Griffiths battle for the ball during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Patrick Roberts of Celtic celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Patrick Roberts of Celtic celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Celtic's Patrick Roberts (27) celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow.
Celtic's Patrick Roberts celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic's Patrick Roberts celebrates scoring his side's first goal with Leigh Griffiths during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic's Patrick Roberts celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic's Callum McGregor (left) and Aberdeen's Kenny McLean battle for the ball during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Celtic supporters hold scarves up above their heads during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Celtic's Patrick Roberts celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic's Patrick Roberts (left) celebrates scoring his side's second goal with team-mates during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell (centre) and chairman Ian Bankier (left) in the stands before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Patrick Roberts scores his second goal of the game during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Patrick Roberts scores his second goal of the game during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Patrick Roberts of Celtic celebrates sciring his second goal with team mates of the game during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Aberdeen's Ash Taylor (left) and Celtic's Leigh Griffiths in action during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Aberdeen's Shaleum Logan (left) and Celtic's Kieran Tierney in action during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Scott Brown of Celtic presents a wreath in memory of the Hillsborough Disaster during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Celtic fans display banners in the stands before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Celtic Club ambasadorJay Beatty and Hoopy the Huddle hound during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Aberdeen goalkeeper Adam Collin looks dejected during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Peter Lawwell during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Ronny Deila Celtic Manager looks on during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Jay Beatty, Ambassador for Celtic Football Club's Celtic FC Foundation, with club mascot Hoopy the Huddle Hound at half-time of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic's Mikael Lustig scores his side's third goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Aberdeen's Niall McGinn scores his side's first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Shaleum Logan of Aberdeen and Tomas Rogic of Celtic during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Ash Taylor of Aberdeen and Nir Biton of Celtic in action during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Celtic's Erik Sviatchenko (left) and Aberdeen's Jonathan Hayes battle for the ball during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon celebrates winning the league after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic's Stefan Johansen celebrates winning the league after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Ronny Deila Celtic Manager looks on during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Scott Brown of Celtic celebrates during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Celtic's (left to right) Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie and Gary Mackay-Steven celebrate winning the league after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Scott Brown applauds supporters during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Scott Brown applauds supporters during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Celtic's (left to right) Tom Rogic, Scott Brown, Charlie Mulgrew, Kris Commons, Gary Mackay-Steven and Craig Gordon celebrate winning the league after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Celtic players celebrate at the end of the match during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Celtic players celebrate at the end of the match during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)
Celtic manager Ronny Deila (left) and Scott Brown celebrate winning the league after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Jay Beatty, Ambassador for Celtic Football Club's Celtic FC Foundation celebrates on the shoulders of Stefan Johansen as his side celebrate winning the league after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths celebrates winning the league after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 8, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Ronny Deila Celtic Manager looks on during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Celtic players celebrate at the end of the match during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Scott Brown of Celtic celebrate at the end of the match during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Scott Brown of Celtic celebrate at the end of the match during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Scott Brown of Celtic celebrate at the end of the match during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Celtic players celebrate at the end of the match during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Celtic fans celebrate at the end of the match during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane, who finished his career with Celtic, is also understood to be in the running for the manager's job, two years after turning it down before Deila was appointed.

Keane said that the prospect of managing Celtic was the 'right job at the wrong time' for him.

Paul Lambert's odds on being given the Parkhead manager's job were slashed when he announced that he would be leaving his post in charge of Blackburn Rovers at the end of the season and he remains a contender.

David Moyes is in the mix too, but the former Everton and Manchester United boss could continue to bide his time in the hope of landing another job in the Premier League.

Rodgers has stated that he "certainly" wants to get back to work in the summer and he had also been linked with a return to former club Swansea before they stood by Francesco Guidolin.

Belfast Telegraph

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