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Pardew staying silent on link to Celtic hotseat

Alan Pardew last night refused to comment on reports which have linked him with the vacant manager’s job at Celtic.

Pardew emerged as something of a surprise contender for the Parkhead post.

Former Northern Ireland international Neil Lennon has been in caretaker charge at Parkhead since Tony Mowbray’s departure last month and he remains the bookmakers’ favourite for the job.

Despite his inexperience he is keen to take the job on a permanent basis, but last weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Ross County has hit his chances.

Lennon, who is also an ex-Celtic captain, revealed this week that he has yet to hold talks with the club’s major shareholder Dermot Desmond or chief executive Peter Lawwell about being appointed permanently.

It has been claimed that Southampton boss Pardew was recommended to the Parkhead hierarchy after they sought opinions from respected figures in the game about who should succeed Mowbray.

Pardew, however, declined to rule himself in or out of the running when he was contacted yesterday afternoon.

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He said: “It has been brought to my attention that my name is in one of the papers, but I have no comment to make.”

Pardew, 49, led West Ham to the 2006 FA Cup final, seeing his team beaten by Liverpool on penalties.

He was sacked less than halfway through the following season after a poor run of results and then suffered the same fate at Charlton Athletic two years later before they dropped into the Coca-Cola Championship.

He has since rebuilt his reputation at Coca-Cola League One Southampton, who are close to securing a play-off spot despite a 10-point deduction after the club went into administration.

Meanwhile, the Hoops host Hibernian tomorrow (12.15).

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