An updated look at the next Celtic manager market: Featuring Chris Wilder, Enzo Maresca, Jesse Marsch, Rafa Benitez and more

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 24 March 2021, 15:29

It’s already been a month since Neil Lennon’s second spell at Celtic came to an end, since then we’ve seen just about every unemployed manager linked to the post, plus a few contracted bosses too.

There have been high-profile names in the frame and managers you’ve had to Google in what is proving to be an intriguing next Celtic manager market, and one in which we’ve revisited below...

Who is the favourite?

At the time of writing, Enzo Maresca is the narrow frontrunner with bookmakers ahead of interim boss John Kennedy.

Since Lennon’s exit, Maresca has been consistently linked with a move to the Hoops.

The Italian, a former No.2 to Manuel Pellegrini, has spent the last seven months in charge of Man City’s Development Squad; a side that are currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League 2 Division One table.

City’s young guns have thrived under Maresca’s tutorship, accumulating 12 wins and 62 goals in 19 league games to date. They are currently unbeaten in 13 matches during which they’ve smashed home seven goals on two occasions, which includes a 7-2 win against Liverpool. 

For the moment Maresca is focused on delivering silverware to Man City U23s, but the summer would be a different story. The chance to venture out in his own right at a massive club with a passionate fan base will be of huge appeal.

There are of course questions over his outright managerial experience at senior level, for which he has none, but his creditable work with Man City’s youngsters - many of whom now feature in the England youth teams - coupled with his coaching resume at West Ham and Sevilla means he could prove to be an exciting option.


There's sure to be a scramble for Chris Wilder's signature

Chris Wilder is free

Chris Wilder’s odds for the Celtic job were instantly and inevitably slashed once his departure from Sheffield United was officially confirmed earlier this month.

Wilder, who was odds-on but is currently a best-priced 12/1 (Bet Victor), boasts an impressive CV which has taken him from non-league to the Premier League. Along the way he accumulated promotions with Oxford, Northampton, and Sheffield United; elevating the latter from League One to a top-half Premier League finish - for more information check out our interview with him below.

There’s likely to be a scramble for his signature this summer - there could soon be jobs opening up at Crystal Palace and Newcastle, while West Brom and Bournemouth may be interested too - so if Celtic are keen they may need to show their intent soon.

With Celtic set to embark on a sizeable structural overhaul this summer, many would like to see Wilder come in and lead the revolution.

What about John Kennedy?

No one in the running knows Celtic quite like John Kennedy. Not only did he play for the club, but he’s been a scout, coached the youth team and the first team, worked as an assistant manager and now he’s in charge, albeit on an interim basis.

So far he’s overseen three games, a win over Aberdeen and draws against Dundee United and Rangers, with the points shared with the champions in last weekend’s Old Firm. He’s likely to continue until the end of the season and while there’s only pride to play for in the league, he does have the chance to win Celtic the FA Cup.

Unlikely to be the glamour name with many fans keen for a fresh high-profile face to come in given the wounds inflicted during the current campaign, but if asked to step into the position on a full-time basis then Kennedy will take it in a flash.

While there’s every reason to believe he’ll still be at the club next season, it’s difficult to envision that being as manager.

Jesse Marsch has made some interesting comments

Jesse Marsch has electrified RB Salzburg since his appointment in 2019. A former MLS Coach of the Year with the New York Red Bulls, Marsh traded the States for Austria and won the league and cup double in his first season in charge, and nearly stunned Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League (they lost 4-3 after trailing 3-0).

Marsch, who is set to retain both trophies, employs an exciting, energetic, free-scoring and high-pressing style of football which is sure to appeal to Celtic fans. He’s also managed a number of exciting young talents, including Erling Haaland, Takumi Minamino, Patson Daka, and Sekou Koita.

More pertinently are the comments he made about the Celtic job last week.

"I've heard [about the links],” he told BBC Sport. “It's an honour for me. Three or four years ago, being linked with a club like Celtic would literally be an impossibility for me. And now that this is where I am, I always just try to look at it in terms of, 'what would the project look like?'

"Would we have similar ideas in how to build it the right way, invest in the academy, invest in young players and create this development process that I'm talking about? And not just focus on winning. Obviously I know that when you're the coach of Celtic, winning is the most important thing.

"I know enough about it to say of course it's interesting. It's an amazing club and it would be an honour to even be considered. But I also have a job to do here.

"My way of working is really to focus in on the job that I'm doing and concentrate on the moment. And the more that I do that the more other possibilities can arise."

Journalist Christian Falk then appeared to burst the bubble, but at 25/1 (Bet Victor) he still remains a tempting price to swap jobs this summer.


Rafa Benitez to Celtic now appears to be off

Rafa Benitez dream over?

"The priority is England. Why? Because obviously I like the Premier League and my family is here. I have a lot [of offers] from the Emirates, United States, Brazil, China, but I want to stay in Europe. And I want to stay in England."

These words were directly from the mouth of Rafa Benitez who in an interview with The Times seems to have poured water on a potential move north of the border.

"If it’s the right one, we can do it tomorrow but the project, the competitive team, is not there at the moment so we have to wait,” he continued. "But I don’t want to stay without working."

The former favourite is now out at 25/1 in a move that appears increasingly unlikely.


Frank Lampard is a 33/1 long shot

And the rest?

Ex-Celtic boss Martin O’Neill has ruled himself out and while he may be right up there in the betting a move for former player Roy Keane (6/1) has not managed for a decade. Despite the odd comment here and there he's made about a return to the dugout, in truth there are other more high-calibre managers out there. 

Former Man Utd assistant and Real Madrid boss Carlos Queiroz, who left his post at Colombia in December, has recently been cut from 33/1 to 9/1, whereas Alex Neil can now be found at 16/1 after leaving Preston at the weekend.

It’s all gone quiet on the Eddie Howe (16/1) front - although this doesn’t mean he’s no longer in contention - while if Celtic want Scotland’s Steve Clarke (25/1) they’ll have to wait until after the Euros.

Further afield you’ll find Thierry Henry and Frank Lampard at 33/1, the same price as the impressive Slavia Prague manager Jindrich Trpisovsky, while Valerien Ismael is available at 66/1 having so far done a superb job at Barnsley who are in contention to win promotion to the Premier League.

Scroll down for full odds...

Next Celtic Manager Odds

Eddie Howe

Previous Team: Bournemouth

John Kennedy

Current Team: Celtic

Carlos Queiroz

Previous Team: Colombia

Enzo Maresca

Previous Team: None

Roy Keane

Previous Team: Ipswich Town

Chris Wilder

Previous Team: Sheffield United

Steve Clarke

Current Team: Scotland

Lucien Favre

Previous Team: Borussia Dortmund

Frank Lampard

Previous Team: Chelsea

Alex Neil

Previous Team: Preston North End

Phillip Cocu

Previous Team: Derby County

Jindrich Trpisovsky

Current Team: Slavia Praha

Michael O'Neill

Current Team: Stoke City

Martin O'Neill

Previous Team: Nottingham Forest

Jesse Marsch

Current Team: Red Bull Salzburg

Rafael Benitez

Previous Team: Dalian Yifang

Roberto Martinez

Current Team: Belgium

Domenec Torrent

Previous Team: Flamengo

Leonardo Jardim

Previous Team: Monaco

Robbie Keane

Previous Team: None

Malky Mackay

Previous Team: Wigan Athletic

Jim McInally

Current Team: Peterhead

Gerardo Seoane

Previous Team: None

Sean Dyche

Current Team: Burnley

Diego Martinez

Current Team: Granada

Jack Ross

Current Team: Hibernian

Rogerio Ceni

Current Team: Flamengo

Damien Duff

Previous Team: None

Joachim Low

Current Team: Germany

Veljko Paunovic

Current Team: Reading

Ralf Rangnick

Previous Team: Leipzig

Wayne Rooney

Current Team: Derby County

Andriy Shevchenko

Current Team: Ukraine

Andre Villas Boas

Previous Team: Marseille

Thierry Henry

Previous Team: Montreal Impact

Shaun Maloney

Previous Team: None

Derek McInnes

Previous Team: Aberdeen

Julien Stephan

Previous Team: Rennes

Paul Lambert

Previous Team: Ipswich Town

Henrik Larsson

Previous Team: Helsingborg

Marco Silva

Previous Team: Everton

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

Mark Hughes

Previous Team: Southampton

Steve McClaren

Previous Team: Queens Park Rangers

Dan Petrescu

Previous Team: CFR Cluj

Stiliyan Petrov

Previous Team: None

Sergei Rebrov

Current Team: Ferencvaros

Erik Ten Hag

Current Team: Ajax

Arsene Wenger

Previous Team: Arsenal

Gianfranco Zola

Previous Team: Birmingham City

Gary Holt

Previous Team: Livingston

Jose Mourinho

Previous Team: Tottenham Hotspur

David Moyes

Current Team: West Ham United

Gordon Strachan

Previous Team: Scotland

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

John Terry

Previous Team: None

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

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 2021-04-20 14:15:08
Betting Odds Tips

Managers Departed

Last man down

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho
(Tottenham Hotspur)
19th April
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
Exclusive Promo Code
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply.
Up to £100 in bet credits
Exclusive Promo Code
#AD Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Next in firing line Hottest Manager Markets

Premier League

Next Manager to Leave


Next Manager

Atletico Madrid

Next Manager


Next Manager

Bayern Munich

Next Manager


Next Manager

Crystal Palace

Next Manager


Next Manager

England U21

Next Manager


Next Manager


Next Manager

Manchester United

Next Manager

Newcastle United

Next Manager

Paris St Germain

Next Manager

Preston North End

Next Manager

Real Madrid

Next Manager

Republic of Ireland

Next Manager


Next Manager

Tottenham Hotspur

Next Manager


Next Manager
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
£30 in free sports bets + £10 Casino Bonus #AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply.
We use cookies to provide statistics that help give you the best experience of our site. By continuing to use the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more
Got It