David Provan says Celtic’s pursuit of Eddie Howe has become embarrassing and the club should look elsewhere for their next manager.
The former Bournemouth boss was widely expected to have been confirmed as Celtic boss by now, but there has been no word from the club and Howe’s representative has characterised talks of a deal being close as “extremely premature”.
Parkhead legend Davie Provan believes there has been too much hype regarding the 43-year-old. Roy Keane has repeatedly been mentioned in connection with the vacancy, and Provan claims the Irishman has been unfairly written off.
He said: “If I were Dermot Desmond, I’d have crossed Eddie Howe off my wish list by now. The pursuit of over-hyped Howe has become embarrassing.
“Out of work for nine months since the Cherries’ relegation, this shouldn’t have been a complicated appointment. Particularly when we’re told the persuasive Desmond has met with Howe.
“Instead, it’s becoming a saga that could end up humiliating Celts.
“Howe was supposed to be a done deal with his backroom team already picked and ready to join him in Glasgow. Instead, the ticking of the clock gets louder.
“How silly will Celts look if Howe knocks them back now? I wouldn’t be giving him the chance — he’s had enough time to make a decision.
“Is Howe really that much of a catch? Is he using Celts as leverage to land another job in England?
“Bottom line is Celtic don’t have a day to waste if they’re to be ready for next season. And if Dominic McKay can quit Murrayfield early to start work, why not jobless Howe?
“There are some coaches who’d be worth the wait, but we’re not talking Jurgen Klopp here.
“Sure, Howe’s track record at Bournemouth is impressive — but he’s never proved himself beyond the south coast minnows.
“Taking Howe from sleepy Bournemouth would be a gamble but I do get why Desmond is interested.
“While Roy Keane is somehow dismissed as a snarling dinosaur, Howe is viewed as new age. A deep-thinking chin stroker who could double as a university lecturer.
“The worry for Celtic is that Howe is wasting their precious time.
“With England’s sacking season underway, he could be holding out for another EPL club. That would leave Desmond high and dry.
“There are coaches who you’d jump through hoops to hire. Howe isn’t one of them.”
Neil Lennon’s former assistant John Kennedy remains in charge on an interim basis, and he oversaw a confidence-boosting 6-0 victory over Livingston at Celtic Park on Saturday, with Moi Elyounoussi scoring twice to maintain his excellent run of form.