Next Celtic Manager: A look at all the early names in the frame to replace Neil Lennon

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 24 February 2021, 10:12

Celtic are searching for a new manager following the resignation of Neil Lennon whose second spell at the helm came to an end on Wednesday morning.

We’ve taken an early look at the next Celtic manager market which currently features a host of managers of all abilities and ages…

John Kennedy

Played for the club, was first team scout, spent time in charge of the youth teams where he won silverware. He went on to become first team coach, assistant, and now interim manager.

Knows the club inside out but is unlikely to be the glamour name fans crave as the club bids to bounce back from a disappointing season.

Celtic haven’t yet revealed whether Kennedy’s interim position is temporary or through to the end of the season, so it’s worth noting that should he manage 10 games then that will be classed as a win in the ‘next permanent manager market’ with most betting companies.

Rafa Benitez

The blockbuster name. The glamour appointment.

Rafa Benitez has been linked with Celtic for the last few months, speculation which was taken up a notch following his recent departure from Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro.

The popular Spaniard’s got the CV, the silverware, and he knows how to thrive in high-pressure environments. Should he showcase an interest, then Celtic must do everything within their power to lure him up to Parkhead.

Plus, Benitez versus his former captain Steven Gerrard would be absolute golddust.

Frank Lampard

Rangers took a gamble on Gerrard, who had no senior managerial experience upon his appointment. He endured a tough couple of seasons during which Celtic dominated from a silverware perspective, but patience was key in this scenario as the former England captain is now all set for domestic - and possibly European - glory this season.

Unlike Gerrard at the time, Lampard has managerial experience under his belt following spells at Derby and Chelsea. 

He’ll still be gutted at losing his job at the Blues but while he swiftly became yet another victim on the club’s managerial conveyor belt, he can take numerous positives from his 18-month tenure, including the development of a cluster of exciting young talents.

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke’s stock is high. He became the first manager this millennium to lead Scotland through to a major tournament - the European Championships - which we all hope is still going to go ahead this summer.

It’s difficult to envision that he’ll leave his post before then, but could be an option once the tournament comes to a close.

Clarke has buckets of experience as a coach, has managed West Brom and Reading in England, and memorably propelled Kilmarnock from second bottom to fifth place on a shoestring budget.

Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe has been hotly linked with Celtic ever since the pressure first started to build on Neil Lennon.

The English manager has yet to return to the managerial arena since his summer Bournemouth exit, but now the Celtic job is officially up for grabs this could prove to be the ideal opportunity he’s been waiting for.

Howe memorably propelled the Cherries from League Two to the Premier League - across two spells - then spent five seasons in the top-flight; where he won plaudits for his attractive style of football.

Between those two spells he endured a blip at Burnley, but that shouldn’t put Celtic off.

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Eddie Howe has been linked with Celtic for the last few months

Ralf Rangnick

The German tactical maestro whose attack-minded, pressing philosophy has influenced a whole host of his fellow countrymen, from Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel to Julian Nagelsmann.

Ralf Rangnick loves a project. He cannonballed minnows Hoffenheim from the third-tier to the Bundesliga, then elevated Red Bull Leipzig up the league ladder; as Sporting Director and manager, playing a key role in recruiting and developing a multitude of exciting young talents including Timo Werner.

Simply put, Rangnick transforms teams, both as a manager and Sporting Director. He’s also currently available for hire having left the Red Bull sphere last year. A 50/1 long shot, but one that would be fascinating.

Roberto Martinez

An interesting name who features in the top echelons of the market in the immediate aftermath of Lennon’s resignation.

Roberto Martinez famously won the FA Cup with Wigan, only to suffer relegation a few days later. He went on to experience a mixed three seasons at Everton, and has been Belgium manager since 2016.

He’s currently overseeing the country’s Golden Generation, who finished 3rd at the 2018 World Cup, and will now head into the Euros as one of the favourites for glory.

Similarly to Steve Clarke, with the Euros coming up it makes things a little bit difficult at the moment, while it’s worth noting that his contract doesn’t expire until 2022.

Andre Villas-Boas

A swift return to management for Andre Villas-Boas?

A few weeks ago, in a bizarre series of events, the Portuguese coach offered Marseille his resignation, was then suspended, and subsequently sacked.

He’s not been shy in speaking his mind in the past, while the main reason for his Marseille fallout actually involved a Celtic player, Olivier Ntcham, who was brought in on loan behind his back.

Villas-Boas led Marseille to 2nd last season, previously won the quadruple in his one and only season at Porto, had a difficult nine-month spell at Chelsea, followed by jobs at Spurs, Zenit and Shanghai SIPG, while he’s even dabbled in the world of rally driving.

Alex Neil

Previously led Hamilton into the top-flight - and defeated Celtic for the first time in nearly 80 years - then did the same with Norwich south of the border.

Has been in charge of Preston since 2017, but the club’s long-waited first ever promotion to the Premier League is likely to have to wait for another season as they are currently placed down in 16th.

Enzo Maresca

Enzo Maresca was part of Manuel Pellegrini’s coaching staff at West Ham, while he previously worked at Sevilla and Ascoli, and scouted for AC Milan.

Since August he’s been the Elite Development Squad head coach at Man City, who are currently top of the table.

Yet to hold an outright position in senior management, meaning an appointment could be viewed as a risk.

Anyone else?

Familiar faces Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane, Gordon Strachan, and Henrik Larsson all feature in the betting, while Arsene Wenger is out at 100/1 with some bookmakers.

Next Celtic Manager Odds

Eddie Howe

Previous Team: Bournemouth


John Kennedy

Current Team: Celtic


Roy Keane

Previous Team: Ipswich Town


Enzo Maresca

Previous Team: None


Carlos Queiroz

Previous Team: Colombia


Chris Wilder

Previous Team: Sheffield United


Jindrich Trpisovsky

Current Team: Slavia Praha


Jesse Marsch

Current Team: Red Bull Salzburg


Steve Clarke

Current Team: Scotland


Lucien Favre

Previous Team: Borussia Dortmund


Alex Neil

Previous Team: Preston North End


Frank Lampard

Previous Team: Chelsea


Martin O'Neill

Previous Team: Nottingham Forest


Rafael Benitez

Previous Team: Dalian Yifang


Phillip Cocu

Previous Team: Derby County


Roberto Martinez

Current Team: Belgium


Michael O'Neill

Current Team: Stoke City


Domenec Torrent

Previous Team: Flamengo


Robbie Keane

Previous Team: None


Malky Mackay

Previous Team: Wigan Athletic


Julien Stephan

Previous Team: Rennes


Damien Duff

Previous Team: None


Sean Dyche

Current Team: Burnley


Henrik Larsson

Previous Team: Helsingborg


Joachim Low

Current Team: Germany


Diego Martinez

Current Team: Granada


Ralf Rangnick

Previous Team: Leipzig


Wayne Rooney

Current Team: Derby County


Jack Ross

Current Team: Hibernian


Andriy Shevchenko

Current Team: Ukraine


Andre Villas Boas

Previous Team: Marseille


Slaven Bilic

Current Team: Beijing Guoan


Scott Brown

Previous Team: None


Nicky Butt

Previous Team: None


John Collins

Previous Team: Charleroi


Darren Fletcher

Previous Team: None


Thierry Henry

Previous Team: Montreal Impact


Gary Holt

Previous Team: Livingston


Mark Hughes

Previous Team: Southampton


Paul Lambert

Previous Team: Ipswich Town


Shaun Maloney

Previous Team: None


Steve McClaren

Previous Team: Queens Park Rangers


Derek McInnes

Previous Team: Aberdeen


Dan Petrescu

Previous Team: CFR Cluj


Stiliyan Petrov

Previous Team: None


Sergei Rebrov

Current Team: Ferencvaros


Marco Silva

Previous Team: Everton


Erik Ten Hag

Current Team: Ajax


Arsene Wenger

Previous Team: Arsenal


Gianfranco Zola

Previous Team: Birmingham City


Paolo Di Canio

Previous Team: Sunderland


Ralph Hasenhuttl

Current Team: Southampton


Valerien Ismael

Current Team: Barnsley


Mick McCarthy

Current Team: Cardiff City


Johan Mjallby

Previous Team: Gefle


Tony Mowbray

Current Team: Blackburn Rovers


David Moyes

Current Team: West Ham United


Gordon Strachan

Previous Team: Scotland


Patrick Vieira

Previous Team: Nice


Mauricio Pochettino

Current Team: Paris St Germain


Sam Allardyce

Current Team: West Bromwich Albion


Craig Burley

Previous Team: None


Kenny Dalglish

Previous Team: Liverpool


John Hartson

Previous Team: None


Jose Mourinho

Current Team: Tottenham Hotspur


Alan Pardew

Previous Team: ADO Den Haag


Chris Sutton

Previous Team: Lincoln City


Brendan Rodgers

Current Team: Leicester City


Ronny Deila

Current Team: New York City


Ally McCoist

Previous Team: Rangers


Odds Correct as of 2021-04-16 10:42:26
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