Celtic makes deal for Eddie Howe to become new manager after former Bournemouth boss had personal talks with London club’s major shareholder Dermot Desmond … and wants Richard Hughes to join him as technical director
- Celtic has contacted Eddie Howe about their vacant manager role
- The Hoops want to replace Neil Lennon after he left the club in March
- Howe has been out of work since he left Bournemouth last season
- Roy Keane and Thierry Henry have also been associated with the job
Celtic are nearing an agreement to appoint Eddie Howe as the club’s new manager early next week.
And the former Bournemouth boss wants Cherries technical director Richard Hughes to join him in Glasgow.
Howe held face-to-face meetings with the club’s major shareholder, Dermot Desmond, in London this week.
Celtic held talks with former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe (above) in London
And the 43-year-old is now ready to commit to a move to Glasgow if the Parkhead hierarchy agrees to the structural changes he wants to make.
Sportsmail understands that Howe is willing to stick with current first-team coaches John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan, but wants former Scotland midfielder Hughes to oversee a restructuring of the football business.
Former Celtic forward Mark Burchill – now a Bournemouth scout – is also in line for a scouting job after football operations chief Nick Hammond resigned on Wednesday.
Howe left Bournemouth by mutual consent in August after the club was relegated from the English Premier League after five seasons in the top flight. Praised for the job at Crystal Palace when Roy Hodgson leaves, a move to Glasgow now seems more likely after Desmond has provided guarantees on funds for the rebuilding of the players’ squad and an overhaul of the football business.
The Hoops handed over the Scottish Premier League title to rival Rangers in March
Big decisions are also looming over the futures of key first-team players, including Leicester target Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer, Olivier Ntcham, Ryan Christie and leases Shane Duffy, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Diego Laxalt. Captain Scott Brown has already announced his departure to join Aberdeen as a player coach.
Celtic has appointed Dominic McKay of the SRU to succeed retiring CEO Peter Lawwell on July 1, while Hammond left the club to ‘pursue new opportunities’.
Commenting on Hammond’s decision, interim boss Kennedy said, “Nick has clearly made the decision to look for a new challenge and has moved on. He is a great guy with a fantastic work ethic.
He came in and set up a lot of processes behind the scenes that people don’t know we covered more areas around the world, bringing in more staff to look at more players.
“Recruitment was a facet of Nick’s job, across different areas, but we still have a recruiting team, we still have a chief scout, a recruiting chief, so all processes and personnel are still there.
The department heads, Peter, Neil (Lennon), Nick, are changing, but below that the work is still going on and the board will decide the best way forward.
Howe led Bournemouth to the top flight, holding them there for four seasons before relegation last year
‘That is above me, board level, they will make the decisions. But behind the scenes, things will continue to progress very much the way they do. ‘
Neil Lennon’s resignation on February 24 sparked discussions with a wide range of leading candidates in the UK and abroad.
Skipper Brown admitted yesterday that the lack of certainty surrounding the club was a factor in his decision to turn down the offer of a one-year deal and instead accept an offer from new Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass.
Brown said: ‘It’s a tough situation now because it would have to wait until the end of the season to see who comes in.
“ For me, to have that fresh start with someone I know, trust and respect completely, and maybe be with Celtic until the end of the season and not sure what to do or who will come in – I think that’s in my thoughts played as well. ‘
Asked if he had considered continuing to help with the transition at the Parkhead club, Brown said, “That was always in the back of my mind.
‘I also have to look at the selfish point. Aberdeen offered a two-year deal and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. ‘