Sunday afternoon’s 2-0 loss to Old Firm rivals Rangers has significantly dampened Neil Lennon’s chances of landing the Celtic job beyond his interim contract – and a whole list of names have been linked to the post.
A report from CalcioMercato has claimed that Claudio Ranieri and Laurent Blanc are in the running for the Celtic job, with some suggestions that the Hoops want to attract a big-name manager to Parkhead.
Ranieri has been in charge of AS Roma during the second half of the campaign, but is in a similar position to Lennon. Managing Chelsea and masterminding Leicester’s unbelievable Premier League triumph are on his CV.
Former Paris Saint-Germain and France boss Blanc is also on the shortlist, and given that he has been out of work since 2016, he could be tempted with a return to management at Celtic.
The latter would be an excellent appointment, given that he has already managed a club like Celtic that are expected to win the league year after year – in PSG. Celtic and PSG also have excellent connections, and Blanc would strengthen that.
But the chances of luring Blanc to Scotland could become much tougher than first anticipated. That is because L’Equipe have claimed that Lyon and Roma have targeted Blanc.
Again, Blanc is just one name on a number of shortlists but his knowledge of French football will make him an outstanding candidate for Lyon. It means Celtic would struggle to tempt him with a move to Parkhead.
Similarly, a move to Roma would surely prove tantalising for Blanc and would certainly outdo anything Celtic can offer both financially, and in terms of European football and calibre.
Celtic have to act fast if it is Blanc they want to bring in as Brendan Rodgers’ permanent successor, especially given that Lyon or Roma are likely to tempt the former Manchester United defender.