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Celtic make Brendan Rodgers big money offer - and Rangers boss backs him

By Stuart McKinley

Brendan Rodgers is on the brink of becoming the highest paid manager in Scottish Football history. Celtic want Rodgers to be their new boss so much that they are tempting the Ulsterman with a bumper wage packet, worth over £1m a year, which will not only top that of any of the club's previous managers, but also outstrip the salaries handed out across Scotland in the past.

And the man who will immediately become his Old Firm rival, Rangers manager Mark Warburton, has backed Celtic's choice of Rodgers as the man to succeed Ronny Deila.

Celtic owner Dermot Desmond had said that club would appoint a new manager in next four to five days and he is understood to have sanctioned the mega deal to bring Rodgers, who could be appointed before the weekend, to Parkhead.

If he takes the job Rodgers would lose out on a whopping £10m of severance pay owed to him by Liverpool and while Celtic couldn't match his £100,000 weekly wage at Anfield, they will go well above the £1m a year that Martin O'Neill was picking up during his time with the club.

Warburton backed his former colleague by saying: "I worked with Brendan at Watford. I was academy manager and he was manager. He's a manager of the highest quality."

Desmond revealed that the club had spoken to more than half a dozen candidates for the job and of that pack Rodgers is now the man that Celtic want to lead them as they chase a sixth successive Scottish Premiership title.

All the others have a Celtic connection, with Roy Keane, David Moyes, Malky Mackay, Paul Lambert and Mick McCarthy all playing for the club during their careers, while former boss Neil Lennon, who stepped down two years ago, is also in the running.

Rodgers, however, has jumped ahead of them all to become the club’s choice for the job and after Rangers’ return to the Scottish Premiership he will be the first manager in five seasons to lead Celtic into an Old Firm league game.

Warburton, who secured promotion back to the Scottish top flight in his first season as Ibrox boss, added: “He’s worked in the Premier League and came within a slip of winning it, so there’s no doubting Brendan’s qualities.

“I like him very much as an individual, so if he is the man, he would be a great choice.”

Rodgers, who had been lined up by Swansea but failed to agree terms, will also be told that qualification for the Champions League group stages is a must and that will come with a hefty bonus.

His first game in charge will be a second round qualifying contest in mid-July, with Celtic having to negotiate their way through three rounds before they reach the lucrative group stages of the tournament.

Failure to secure a place among Europe’s elite over the last two seasons has cost Celtic in the region of £40m and Desmond isn’t prepared to suffer another financial hit of such high proportions.

Desmond revealed that the club had spoken to more than half a dozen candidates for the job and of that pack Rodgers is now the man that Celtic want to lead them as they chase a sixth successive Scottish Premiership title.

All the others have a Celtic connection, with Roy Keane, David Moyes, Malky Mackay, Paul Lambert and Mick McCarthy all playing for the club during their careers, while former boss Neil Lennon, who stepped down two years ago, is also in the running.

Rodgers, however, has jumped ahead of them all to become the club’s choice for the job and after Rangers’ return to the Scottish Premiership he will be the first manager in five seasons to lead Celtic into an Old Firm league game.

Warburton, who secured promotion back to the Scottish top flight in his first season as Ibrox boss, added: “He’s worked in the Premier League and came within a slip of winning it, so there’s no doubting Brendan’s qualities.

“I like him very much as an individual, so if he is the man, he would be a great choice.”

Rodgers, who had been lined up by Swansea but failed to agree terms, will also be told that qualification for the Champions League group stages is a must and that will come with a hefty bonus.

His first game in charge will be a second round qualifying contest in mid-July, with Celtic having to negotiate their way through three rounds before they reach the lucrative group stages of the tournament.

Failure to secure a place among Europe’s elite over the last two seasons has cost Celtic in the region of £40m and Desmond isn’t prepared to suffer another financial hit of such high proportions.

Belfast Telegraph

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