Michael Stewart has identified in his BBC Sport column what Celtic need to do if they want to bring in Rafa Benitez as manager – following Neil Lennon’s resignation as Celtic manager, which was announced on Wednesday morning.
Lennon has left Celtic after Sunday’s defeat to Ross County, which saw Rangers go 18 points clear at the top of the table. Recruitment, Dubai, Boli Bolingoli, tactics and substitutions and protests have all contributed to Lennon’s decision to resign.
Plenty have been linked as his replacement. Eddie Howe and Frank Lampard are said to be favourites if Celtic do not permanently hire John Kennedy, while Benitez, Dan Petrescu, Jesse Marsch and Roberto Martinez have all been suggested.
Benitez is out of work following his exit from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang in January. Having been linked with Celtic in the past, he might be tempted to move to Scotland – and Stewart explains what it would take to get him in the dugout.
“Rafa Benitez has done some incredible work. To land him, it would probably take principal shareholder Dermot Desmond pulling out the stops and saying, ‘What do you want? Right, there you go,'” Stewart said.
“Like any top name, he would look for assurances and guarantees. But he might view Celtic as a place to enjoy himself, finish his career and sail off into the sunset,” Stewart continued his BBC Sport column.
TBR’s view – Surely Celtic have no chance of hiring Benitez?
Well, Benitez made the surprise move to join Newcastle United and looked to rebuild them – and stayed there for 146 matches, the third most matches with any of his clubs. The ex-Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter boss would be a huge coup.
He would be expensive, he would require enormous funds in the transfer window, but he would also bring a huge calibre of player to the club and he would strike fear into a Rangers side coasting to the title under one of Benitez’s former players.
Benitez, as Stewart says, might want a final crack in the United Kingdom – and Celtic might present the perfect opportunity.