With Celtic seemingly in no rush to appoint a new manager in the immediate aftermath of Neil Lennon’s resignation, there’s plenty of speculation as to who they will select as their next incumbent.
At this early stage the next Celtic manager market is pretty open with the top echelon of the betting featuring the names you’d expect at this stage; including Rafa Benitez, Steve Clarke, Eddie Howe, Frank Lampard, Roberto Martinez, and of course interim boss John Kennedy.
With this in mind we’ve taken a look at five fruity long-shots who could potentially have an outside chance of replacing Lennon at Parkhead…
Sean Dyche (50/1)
Probably not too much chance of this one happening until the end of the season, but the summer could be a different story for 50/1 shot Sean Dyche (William Hill).
He’s currently the longest-serving Premier League manager, having taken control of Burnley back in 2012 back when Lennon was half-way through his first spell as Celtic boss.
Dyche has twice led the Clarets up to the Premier League, enjoyed a venture into Europe and has even had a local pub named after him.
Every season he continues to surpass expectations, squeezing every ounce out of his squad. His playing style isn’t always for everyone, but it would be interesting to see if he would alter his vision in new surroundings.
Could we soon see Sean Dyche leave Burnley for a new challenge?
Mick McCarthy (66/1)
It’s been quite the whirlwind year for Mick McCarthy who has had three different jobs over the course of the last 12 months.
After leaving his position in charge of the Republic of Ireland last April, McCarthy made the surprise decision to sign a two-year contract with Cypriot side APOEL in November. The move did not go to plan and he was sacked just two months later.
But instead of dwelling on the disappointment McCarthy swiftly returned to the dugout, this time with Championship side Cardiff City.
Prior to his appointment the stuttering Bluebirds were in terrible form, having lost six games on the spin. In came McCarthy, who picked up back-to-back draws against two of his former clubs, then has since conjured up six wins on the spin to propel his new troops into the play-offs!
McCarthy’s only signed a short-term contract through to the end of the season so we’ll have to see what happens with this one, although FootballInsider reports that Celtic are keen to talk to their former player. If true then his current price of 66/1 looks very juicy.
Lucien Favre (33/1)
Out-of-work since December when he left Borussia Dortmund where he worked with an exciting crop of young talents including Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Gio Reyna.
Lucien Favre has previously managed the likes of Nice, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hertha Berlin, and Zurich, winning back-to-back league titles at the latter. At Dortmund he came close to ending Bayern Munich’s dominance in his first season, missing out by two points, while Dortmund looked in fine form last term only to slump at the end while Bayern were resurrected under Hansi Flick.
The calm Swiss coach looks to employ an attractive brand of football, goals were a key characteristic of his tenure as Dortmund accumulated over 80 league goals in each of his first two campaigns.
But at times he came in for criticism for a patient, low-tempo approach at odds with Dortmund’s more traditional rip-roaring style, while his side often struggled defensively - the final straw was a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of VfB Stuttgart.
Still, his 61% win rate represents a very impressive return even if it only resulted in a Super Cup success. In fact, he averaged 2.09 points per game, which even topped a certain Jürgen Klopp (1.91).
At the time of writing the 63-year-old can be backed at 33/1 to return to management with Celtic (Bet Victor).
Darren Fletcher (50/1)
The boyhood Celtic fan, who played for Celtic Boys Club, would go on to star for Man Utd, West Brom and Stoke during a trophy-laden career, in which he also accumulated 80 caps for Scotland.
Darren Fletcher has recently showcased his intent to become a manager himself after he was named first team coach at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man Utd, having previously overseen the U16s.
The Celtic job is likely to come too soon for the rookie, but he could be one to keep an eye on should the club’s search continue past the end of the season.
Although he may have a bit of explaining to do to win over fans following this admission!
"I grew up going to Celtic with my uncle who had a box at Celtic Park,” Fletcher told Sky Sports. "He bought me a season ticket one year and I went along for two or three seasons.
"I had the opportunity to join Celtic but Rangers had a good youth set-up and track record of bringing through players, so I thought that was the best place to be. At Celtic that wasn't happening."
Jindřich Trpišovský (25/1)
Slavia Prague manager since December 2017, Jindřich Trpišovský has gone on to win the Czech title in each of his two full seasons in charge. A hat-trick of triumphs is on the cards as his side are currently eight points clear and unbeaten after 20 matches.
Trpišovský, who previously had West Ham duo Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal in his ranks, took his side through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League in 2018/19, where they lost to eventual champions Chelsea, while they are currently battling it out with Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City in the last-32 of the competition.
He so far boasts an impressive win rate of 66.67%, having won 98 of his 147 games to date.
As for his style of play, journalist Yon Pulkrabek told lcfc.com: "He's known as 'the Czech Jürgen Klopp'. He wears a baseball cap with his own monogram on the side, he's quite an enigma, he plays things very close to his chest, but he's extremely supportive of his players and they love him.
"He loves to play an attacking, very active and aggressive style. It's really fun to watch and it's bringing great success. There's a lot of pressing and he tries to keep everyone playing high up the pitch - a lot of on-ball pressure, a lot of quick passes and the system has really taken hold.”
Patrick Vieira (40/1) remains out-of-work having left Nice last year, he’s the same price as Celtic legend Henrik Larsson who is once again being linked with a return as manager, although in truth an appointment appears unlikely.
Dan Petrescu (33/1) is believed not to be keen to take up a job right this moment due to a family issue, but his circumstances could change in the summer. Former Everton manager Marco Silva was the favourite in the betting a few months ago but is now out at 50/1, where as David Wagner could be worth keeping an eye on.
Elsewhere, Thierry Henry has revealed that he's stepped down from his post at CF Montreal in order to return to London and be closer to his family. Celtic may therefore be a little bit far away, but who knows!